Improved energy efficiency and reduced waste in communities can result in a new revenue source for community maintenance and community development initiatives. Through Arkansas community partnerships, the Arkansas Energy Office can provide resources and assistance tools to improve the energy efficiency of businesses, schools and other local agencies and facilities.
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The energy audit for the City of Gentry was carried out during the summer of 2001. Sixty-two respondents participated in a survey. With some 650 households in Gentry, the survey represents about 9.5 percent of the total number of homes.
Once an agreement was obtained, the energy consultant team arranged for a personal interview with the family or head of each household, prepared a sketch plan of the house in relation to sun orientation, examined conditions of windows, insulation, overhangs and HVAC equipment, and reviewed energy bills for the past year. This information was collected and reviewed, with the understanding that specifics about energy usage and billing would not be made public. After the study was completed, individual letters were sent to homeowners describing the results of the study and where changes could be made that would result in energy savings. The results of the efforts are included in the appendix of the report.
Assuming that all recommended strategies were put into place, annual savings for the 62 respondents would be approximately $102,000 or about $1,644 per case study. Offices could save an average of $2,536 for each respondent could be saved, stores could save almost $4,900 annually following recommendations, and educational facilities could save $4,843 for each of the ten buildings evaluated. If the study findings were to include the entire Gentry community, it is evident that savings in excess of $1,300,000 might be obtained by investment in energy-saving measures.
AEO’s role in Community Development.
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