Cool Davis held a Cool Home Workshop on Saturday at the Mary L. Stephen’s Davis Branch Library at 315 E 14th St. from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees learned how to measure their energy usage and improve their home energy use.
Lynne Nittler, one of the founders of the Cool Davis Initiative, said that people had the chance to learn how to use a wattmeter at the workshop, which measures how much energy an appliance consumes. People also could learn how to use the PG&E website to track their usage by month or day for electric and gas bills.
“Our main goal for the Cool Home Workshop was to promote improv[ement of] energy efficiency at home, teaching households how to track energy usage,” said Clara Perez, a Cool Davis volunteer.
There were many home energy experts present to answer any questions people had. Additionally, there were resources available to sign people up for the Cool California Challenge. The Cool California Challenge is an effort aimed at reducing household carbon footprints. Cool Davis is helping the community participate in this challenge.
Nittler said three factors are considered for the Cool California Challenge: electric and gas usage determined from a household’s PG&E bill and the odometer from the household’s car.
The workshop was a follow-up to the Cool Davis Festival last October. Volunteer Christine Beckman said participants stated many difficulties to committing to the challenge, such as cost, habits and not being able to make changes to their living space. However, she is determined to help households work past these difficulties and the workshop was one way of achieving this.
“The Cool Davis Challenge is a two-year-old mission aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change and improve people’s quality of life,” Nittler said.
Cool Davis lines up with one part of the city’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan which aims to help households lower greenhouse gas emissions. Nittler said that since Davis is not an industry-heavy city, most of the pollution is from households.
Cool Davis’ goal is for 75 percent of households to lower their carbon footprint by 15 percent by 2015. This includes renters and students as well as homeowners. They are working with the city to help achieve this goal.
According to the Cool Davis website, the City of Davis is ranked first in the race to become the coolest city in California, slightly ahead of Tracy, San Jose and Chula Vista.
“Cool Davis looks at three aspects of energy use: transportation, home energy and consumption of resources,” Nittler said.
A number of people spoke at the event, including Beckman on how to use wattmeters and Chris Jones from the Cool California Challenge. Attendees at the workshop took surveys to make a Cool Solutions checklist for their home and win prizes such as light bulbs and clothes-drying racks.
Cool Davis is holding an event on March 3 at the UU Church of Davis called Climate Crisis: Putting Faith Into Action. The event will include four interactive workshops: “Developing an Environmentally Sustainable Church,” “Engaging Hearts and Minds to Build Sustainable Lifestyles,” “Integrating the Care for Creation into Liturgy,” and “Acting Ethically for a Planet in Peril.”
PAAYAL ZAVERI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.