Olympia Likes Lower Heating Bills – Home Energy Action Training Gets You There

South Sound Solar owner, Kirk Haffner, talks about the advantages of using solar power in the Northwest. Photo credit: Steven Herppich.


Submitted by Northwest Energy Team

Brent Foster, of Northwest Infrared, speaks of building science. (Photo by Steven Herppich.)

Olympia area energy experts are gathering at the Lacey Timberland Library, February 16th, 2-4:30 p.m. for a second round of Home Energy Action Training (HEAT) workshops. The focus is how you can reduce your energy bills and raise your level of comfort.

It’s true: spring is quickly approaching, but remember how cool spring temperatures lingered on into May last year? There is no reason you should continue to wrap yourself in blankets for another three months when there are several things you can do this weekend to make your home more comfortable. At the end of the HEAT workshop you will know which improvements you can make yourself and how to evaluate whether you might need some technical support.

At last month’s HEAT workshop, PSE rebates and incentives were the surprise popular topic. Many attendees were grateful to have a real live person from PSE who could unravel any confusion about qualifying for PSE rebates, credits, incentives and freebies. Wayne Ballew is the Energy Advisor at the Olympia office. His sole assignment is to spend his days talking to PSE customers about what can be done to reduce their heating bills, how they can make their homes more comfortable. Isn’t that great? Ballew will be speaking along with several other energy experts including:

Brent Foster of Northwest Infrared. Foster speaks on building science. “You cannot buy your way to energy efficiency; you have to work your way there,” says Foster. “When you’re doing any energy upgrade, you need to know the cause of your home’s discomfort. I analyze why a home behaves the way it does, how it should be behaving, what isn’t working and why it isn’t working. Then I tell you how to solve the problem.” Foster, the most qualified thermographer in the Northwest, will be focusing on causes and solutions to common home problems like moisture, mold, drafts, leaks, and heat loss.

Paul Ivy of Northwest Energy Team. Ivy will talk about super-efficient ductless heat pumps (DHP). “We were at the Tacoma Home & Garden show a couple weeks ago with a working heat pump. That stopped traffic,” smiles Ivy. “Most of the questions we got were about how ductless heat pumps work, and how a DHP would function in their homes.” Ivy will answer those questions and provide data that has been gathered by regional and national experts on how ductless heat pumps perform in the Pacific Northwest. “Depending on several factors, such as what you heat with now, a ductless system is the best and most affordable heating solution for many people. And you can get up to $1500 back in PSE rebates and Federal tax credit.”

South Sound Solar owner, Kirk Haffner, talks about the advantages of using solar power in the Northwest. (Photo by Steven Herppich.)

Kirk Haffner of South Sound Solar. Haffner will do a shortened version of his popular Solar 101 presentation on how to evaluate your own site to see if solar panels and/or solar hot water systems would work. He will also give information about State, Federal and Utility rebates, credits and incentives. “Yes, solar works very well in the Northwest!” says Haffner. “Annually, Washington has 30% more sunshine than Germany. It’s easy to figure out whether your home is right for solar.” Haffner, with his Masters in Physics, designs and installs solar systems around the state. He also consults on passive solar design, green building and energy conservation.

Generations Credit Union will talk about their low-interest loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements like ductless heat pumps and insulation upgrades to your home. “Generations is one of the first local credit unions to recognize that increasing your home’s energy efficiency will increase its value,” says Randy Seaburg, Loan Manager. “The loan process is super easy. Most applications can be handled with a single phone call. Even people with less than perfect credit are often approved.”

“I really encourage anyone who hates opening their heating bill to come. Or who spends their winter nights huddled on the couch, wrapped in more than two afghans,” says Ivy. “This is a great opportunity to ask questions face-to-face with experts who actually want to answer your questions and give you solutions.

“I think the last HEAT workshop was so successful because all the attendees truly were there to get informed. One person would ask a question and the rest of the crowd would kind of murmur, ‘Yeah, what about that?’ They kind of fed off each other’s enthusiasm and knowledge. And it really is knowledge about all these levels of energy efficiency that is going to help you make the best decision about improving your home and your quality of life.”

The Home Energy Action Training workshop is free and open to the public. And there will be cookies. If you have any questions, please contact Paul Ivy at 360-357-9167 or Paul@NorthwestEnergyTeam.com.

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