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April 4, 2020

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Energy Adviser: Speakers available on energy subjects

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Are kids tuned into energy issues more than adults? A recent presentation by one of Clark Public Utilities’ three energy counselors, Amber Hall, suggests so. The enthusiasm of Girl Scout Troop 45703 turned her recent presentation into an on-demand energy review.

The three energy counselors, Hall, Mike Wallace and DuWayne Dunham, make presentations to a variety of groups about how to outsmart energy waste. Some of the groups they’ve presented to include schools, social clubs, homeowners associations, renter associations, fraternal groups and at libraries and churches.

The utility also provides speakers on topics such as electrical safety, water conservation, energy planning, environmental protection and general energy-related matters. If your group would like a speaker, call 360-992-3262. The utility will arrange for the most informed person on the topic of your choice to speak to your group. If possible, try to give at least two weeks’ notice about your need for a speaker. Dunham, senior energy counselor, said they try to make 20 presentations a year.

The counselors serve different areas of the county and divide the presentations based on their territories, said Dunham. The homes in Washougal, Mount Vista and Battle Ground each have different ages and styles of homes and the homeowners face different problems and want to hear information relevant to them.

“Each of us serves different neighborhoods that have a certain construction and age of homes,” said Wallace. “And through energy reviews, we know our areas and can speak to the homeowners’ concerns.”

Dunham said he likes the question-and-answer period he offers after the presentation, explaining that he didn’t understand when he took the job how much of his work was educational.

“Presentations are my chance to interact with customers and to expand on the presentation content,” he said. “Answering the audience’s questions really allows me to address their specific needs and concerns.”

Which is exactly what happened with Hall during her talk with the Girl Scouts of Troop 45703.

Hall chatted with the scouts about conservation and energy efficiency. Afterward, she toured the home where the troop held their meetings, a two-story, 864-square-foot structure from the 1920s. Walking around, she pointed out multiple issues — insulation missing inside the walls and under the floor, the R9 insulation in the attic needed raising to R49, the single-pane wood frame windows let heat escape, and some wall heaters didn’t work.

Using this home as an example, Hall talked about the purpose of insulation, saying it was like wearing a coat and hat in the winter. Then she worked with the troop to rank what might improve energy savings for the house. Finally, she explained that the utility offers programs and financial incentives, to encourage customers to make these improvements to make the home more comfortable and energy efficient.

Energy Adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send questions to ecod@clarkpud.com or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, P.O. Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98668.

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