On Thursday, April 11th at 3:00 pm the Louisville Metro Sustainability Committee meeting will feature a presentation from Barry Zalph about the use of modern rotary intersections to improve sustainability. This presentation will introduce modern roundabouts and neighborhood traffic calming circles as tools in the roadway design tool kit. If used properly, they can replace signalized intersections and stop-sign-controlled intersections with benefits including increased safety, reduced traffic congestion, and reduced emissions. The meeting will take place at City Hall, 601 W. Jefferson Street, and is open to the public. The meeting will also be aired live on MetroTV, Insight Channel 25. Committee meetings are also aired in reruns on MetroTV, and the schedule can be found here. You can also watch the meeting online here.
Join us on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 as we host the Third Annual Green Spark Awards. The Green Spark Award honors three organizations and two individuals who through their leadership and service have inspired others to care about and conserve energy.
Awards will be presented in the following categories:
- Business Leadership, demonstrating energy efficient policies
- Educational Institution, promoting energy education
- Youth, achievement in energy conservation and environmental stewardship
- Nonprofit Organization, developing awareness of energy efficiency throughout their membership
- Individuals and Families, practicing energy conservation in their homes and communities
The Green Spark Awards and Luncheon
Grand Ballroom of the Seelbach Hilton Hotel, 500 South 4th Street
Wednesday, April 10, 2013. Registration begins at 11:00 AM. Lunch will begin at 11:30.
Keynote speaker: Tina Ward-Pugh, Metro Councilwoman for the 9th District.
Master of Ceremonies: Cindy Sullivan, WHAS 84.
Honorary Chair: Gill Holland, Co-designer of the Green Building.
Ticket information is available at: www.projectwarm.org
Individual tickets are $35.00 with proceeds to benefit Project Warm.
Every year in Louisville, thousands of at-risk families and seniors struggle to heat and cool older, energy inefficient homes in disrepair. By supporting Project Warm, you help many of these families and seniors to affordably manage their energy usage and reduce their housing costs.
Since 1982, Project Warm has provided energy management education, do-it-yourself materials and weatherization services to more than 37,000 low-income senior and family households in Louisville, reducing energy loss for these families and individuals up to 20%. To date, Project Warm has helped households save more than $25 million in energy costs.
Join us as we recognize the 2013 Green Spark Award honorees!
The Project Warm Team
The following information with tips for and programs to weatherize your home for winter was provided by the Department of Community Services and Revitalization.
Louisville Metro’s Weatherization Assistance Program offers ten quick tips to help in lowering energy costs in colder weather:
- Turn back the thermostat between 65 and 68 degrees
- Close the fireplace damper when fireplace is not in use
- Fill in gaps in exterior doors with weather stripping and caulking
- Keep furniture away from vents and keep the vents vacuumed
- Wear layers of clothing and dress warm
- Unplug appliances not in use
- Open shades and curtains allow the sun to help warm your house in the day and close them at night to help keep in the heat
- Turn down water heater temperature to 120 degrees
- Install low flow showerhead
- Seal around and cover window air conditioners
Project Warm, which provides free weatherization education and services for low-income families in Louisville, has scheduled several free weatherization workshops around the community. Several of these workshops will be held in November at the Urban Government Center to reach out to residents seeking LIHEAP utility assistance and others who are interested. Participants in the workshops will receive free supplies and learn “do-it-yourself” weatherization tips like how to hang clear interior window covers to prevent drafts. Contact Project Warm at 502-636-9276 for workshops offered at this location and other locations.
Residents may also consider taking advantage of one of LG&E’s energy efficiency programs. Call the Energy Efficiency Program information line at 1-800-356-5467 or visit their website at www.lge-ku.com/savingenergy to explore how to save energy and money with an online or on-site home energy analysis. Qualifying applicants may be eligible for additional assistance through LG&E’s WeCare program.
Families who are homeowners or renters in Louisville may be eligible for weatherization help if their income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line which, for a family of four, is $46,100. For more information, contact 502.574.4437.
Citizens interested in learning about other energy-saving tips can visit the Weatherization Assistance Program webpage at http://www.louisvilleky.gov/CSR/Community+Services or may pick up information in the lobby of the Urban Government Center at 810 Barret Avenue.
With the heat wave that Louisville is currently experiencing, here are some tips for reducing energy and water usage. In this type of weather, both energy and water usage tend to spike. It’s important to stay cool and hydrated in intense heat, but we can all take some simple steps to keep our energy and water usage in mind. Below are some simple ideas to try.
Tips for saving energy at home in hot temperatures:
- Draw shades during sunny hours to keep indoor air cooler.
- Utilize ceiling fans when you are in the room, as they can make air temperature feel cooler. Turn off the fan when you leave the room. Learn more about energy efficient fan usage.
- Avoid using your oven, which heats the house as you cook.
- Close doors and vents in rooms of your house that are not in use.
- Turn up your thermostat when you are not home, or utilize a programmable thermostat.
- Unplug or use a power strip for energy “vampires,” which are appliances that use energy even when turned off. Examples of energy vampires include: televisions, computers, DVD players and VCRs, stereos, kitchen appliances, and telephones.
Tips for saving water:
- Only run the dishwasher when it is full.
- Don’t prerinse your dishes before using the dishwasher.
- Don’t run the faucet while you brush your teeth.
- Take a shorter shower.
- Install low flow faucets and shower heads. Learn more.
- When watering your garden, do so in the early morning or late at night to cut down on evaporation.
If you are taking any green steps, including reducing energy and water usage, report your good work through making a Green Triangle profile. We’re working to collect all of the green steps that the 9th District is taking, and would love to add your work! See the totals here and view a community map of green resources.
Limiting the use of your clothes dryer can save energy and money. According to Department of Energy figures from 2001, clothes dryers account for 5.8% of home energy use.
Try drying your clothes on lines outside or use drying racks inside to save on energy use. Find other energy saving tips for laundry on the Department of Energy website.
Recently a 9th District resident wrote with a tip on how their family has cut down on dryer use:
We hang much of our laundry on a line to dry rather than using the dryer. A clothes dryer uses huge amounts of electricity. Blue jeans, bath towels and other thick materials take especially long to dry in the dryer and therefore use up lots of electricity. After the clothes, towels, etc have dried on the line, they can be put in the dryer with a few lighter weight wet items such as socks and underwear. They will absorb dampness from the wet items and then become soft and wrinkle free.
Thanks for sharing this tip! If you have any sustainability tips to share, please email Katie Holmes.
LG&E is now offering home energy rebates to help offset the costs of making energy efficient upgrades around the home. Through the launch of its Home Energy Rebates Program, LG&E and KU are targeting customers who plan to make specific appliance and product upgrades in an effort to make these energy efficient purchases more affordable. Home energy rebates range from $50 to $300 for various ENERGY STAR®-qualified appliances, as well as high-efficiency window film and HVAC systems.
Rebates are available for the following items:
- ENERGY STAR Heat pump water heater - $300
- ENERGY STAR Refrigerator – $100
- ENERGY STAR Clothes washer - $75
- ENERGY STAR Freezer – $50
- ENERGY STAR Dishwasher – $50
- Window Film – Up to 50 percent of material costs; a maximum of $200 (Labor not included.)
- Central air conditioner – $100, plus an additional $100 for every SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) unit greater than the federal minimum standard
- Air-source heat pump – $100, plus an additional $100 for every SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) unit greater than the federal minimum standard
To ensure an appliance is ENERGY STAR qualified, check for the ENERGY STAR logo. A full list of ENERGY STAR® appliances and products is available at here.
How to Apply
Customers can sign in to My Account to start a rebate application online or call 1-800-356-5467.
Customers must complete a rebate application and submit their proof of purchase, which is a valid store receipt including purchase date, model number and complete purchase information. Once a rebate application is approved, a rebate check will be mailed within four weeks.
The Green Triangle calendar is filling up for sustainability themed events in June. Three of these events are taking place in Clifton: The Clifton Walkability Assessment on June 21, the Louisville Sustainable Living Fair on June 29, and the Sustainable Clifton Workshop Series on June 30. Consider attending any or all of these events to become more involved in your community and learn about living a more sustainable life.
On June 21, starting at 6:00pm at United Crescent Hill Ministries, 150 State Street, the Clifton Community Council Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Committee and the Center for Neighborhoods will work to assess Clifton’s walkability. Join a team to walk the Clifton portion of Frankfort Avenue to identify strengths and weaknesses of its pedestrian facilities. The assessment will be appended to the Tree Canopy Plan, and used by the Committee and Metro Government for planning and improvements. Learn more about the event. Creating a walkable neighborhood helps our community’s safety, health, environment, and more.
The 6th Annual Louisville Sustainable Living Fair will take place from 5:00 to 9:00 pm on June 29 South Rastetter Avenue between Frankfort Avenue and Payne Street (next to the Clifton Universalist Unitarian Church). Many local businesses and organizations will have booths at the event, showcasing sustainable practices that can help our community make sound environmental and economic choices. Learn more about the event and find a vendor application. The fair takes place during the FAT Friday Trolley Hop on Frankfort Avenue. Stop by and visit the Green Triangle booth!
Finally, on Saturday, June 30, from 9:00 am to Noon, Sustainable Clifton is hosting a variety of 45-minute presentations on sustainability topics at the Clifton Universalist Unitarian Church, 2331 Payne Street. There will be two concurrent workshops from which to choose including bee keeping, gardening, fruit drying, chicken tending, practical recycling, and home energy efficiency. These presentations will be free and open to the public. Learn more about the event.
View the Green Triangle Calendar to learn more about these events and find other upcoming events. If you have a green event that you would like to share, please do so on the Green Triangle website.
LG&E just announced a new energy efficiency program that offers customers $30 to recycle their old refrigerator. If you have an extra refrigerator that you only store a few items in, this is a great chance to get rid of it and get $30 while properly recycling your appliance. LG&E will pick up the refrigerator to be recycled. According to Energy Star, refrigerators made 30 to 40 years ago use about twice the amount of energy each year as compared to modern Energy Star models, which use about 500 kilowatt hours each year. Learn more about this new program.
LG&E has several energy efficiency programs that you can take advantage of to save energy and money. The Demand Conservation Program can save you up to $20 each summer. To participate, LG&E installs a device on your central air conditioner or heat pump, and they can then remotely turn off your air conditioning during peak usage days in the summer to reduce strain on the electric grid. Learn more and sign up.
You can get a discount on an A/C testing and tune-up through LG&E to make sure your air conditioning is running efficiently as we gear up for summer. Learn about this program.
It’s December, which means that the holidays are just around the corner. No matter what holiday you celebrate, there are ways to make these occasions more sustainable.
Many holiday traditions include gift giving – let’s first look at ways to think about greening these practices:
- Buy local: buying from local establishments makes our community more sustainable in multiple ways. A higher percentage of your purchase price stays in the community when you shop at a locally owned establishment. Plus, buying local products often cuts down on fuel needed to transport goods. Learn more from the Louisville Independent Business Association. Find a list of some 9th District local businesses on the Frankfort Avenue Business Association website.
- Make a gift. Some of the most meaningful presents are handmade.
- Don’t buy a gift item just for the sake of buying it. Can’t think of anything that Aunt Susan needs? Buy her a gift certificate to her favorite local establishment or restaurant. Or, make a donation in her name to a local charity.
- Avoid buying gifts with excessive packaging.
- Take reusable bags on shopping trips.
- Try using alternatives to traditional wrapping paper. (Use newspaper, dish towels, or homemade paper made from decorated paper bags.) If you use wrapping paper, make sure it is recyclable. Try to buy wrapping paper with recycled content. Reuse gift bags and tissue paper from year to year.
- If you are buying electronics or appliances as gifts purchase energy efficient models.
Family holiday meals:
- Avoid disposable dishes. If you must use them, try to find recyclable or compostable products.
- Try to use some local produce. Some of Louisville farmers’ markets are still open in December. See a list here.
- If your holiday cooking includes frying, recycle your used cooking oil into biodiesel through the Louisville Biodiesel Cooperative. Order your free used cooking oil receptacle by contacting Christian Thalacker of Louisville Biodiesel Cooperative at (502) 727-5673 or email email@example.com. Then drop off your used cooking oil at 1501 Portland Avenue. A new drop off site in the 9th District will be coming soon. The oil will be made into safe, renewable biodiesel for local farmers.
- Compost organic materials leftover from preparing meals.
- If you decorate with lights for the holiday season, purchase energy efficient versions such as LED bulbs, and limit the amount of time that they are in use.
- If you have a live Christmas tree, turn it into mulch through Louisville Metro Solid Waste Management Services Tree-Cycling, which is available following the holiday. Check the Solid Waste website for dates, to be announced later in December.