Thursday, June 17, 2010

An Energy Audit on Your Home

Do you feel your summertime electric bill is too high? Perhaps an energy audit will help you get it down. I ran across the article below, and felt it was worth sharing.

For many homeowners, electricity use is highest during the summer — that means steeper energy bills are just around the corner.But a lot of the energy you're paying for is squandered through air leaks around doors and windows, or through cable boxes and appliances that sap energy when no one is around. Before you shell out the cash for a professional home-energy audit, however, here are some do-it-yourself ways to measure — and then curb — your energy use. (click here to read full article)


Dunwoody in The New York Times

The New York Times didn't actually write an article about Dunwoody, but spotlights 12-year old twins Matthew and Margaret Guest of Dunwoody in a story about having a best friend. Click on The New York Times to read.
.
Lost Trees at Dunwoody High School
.
Will the City of Dunwoody replace at least some of the trees that DeKalb County removed on the Womack side of Dunwoody High School? Sustainable Pattie asked that very question on her blogsite (with video showing the area of concern). I'd love to know the answer.

8 comments:

Pattie Baker said...

Bob: I ended up hearing the following from City Staff:
___
As a follow-up, after examining their construction plans and double-checking against our right-of-way maps, it looks like none of the trees they removed were in the right-of-way. Therefore, the No Net Loss of Trees policy does not apply to this property since the trees removed were not on government-owned property. However, their plans do show that they plan to replant trees.
___

FYI, I then wrote back and suggested:

It would be nice to get fruit-bearing trees as some of the replacements. The book Public Produce gives excellent reasons why as well as convincing answers to common municipal objections and examples of best practices from other cities: http://www.amazon.com/Public-Produce-New-Urban-Agriculture/dp/1597265888

Pattie Baker said...

Also, re: Energy Audit, Georgia Power offers a nice version for free. I got lots of great tips, small and large. One of the easiest tips? Ceiling fans. They work wonders.

Bob Fiscella said...

Pattie,
Thanks so much for the updates and the info - really appreciate it!

Chip said...

I am woefully ignorant of the specifics of the "No Net Loss of Trees" policy in Dunwoody. Maybe Bob F. or Pattie could summarize.

It would seem to be binding only upon the COD and whatever property is city-owned or controlled.

Is this another example of DeKalb County schools (a quasi-governmental agency) not following the local rules?

Even if they plan to replant trees, who approved the replanting plan to validate that it's sufficient to replace the green cover lost?

Chip

Pattie Baker said...

Chip: Here is a link to the No Net Loss of Trees Policy, as presented April 26, 2010: http://jkheneghan.com/city/meetings/2010/Apr/04262010_Resolution%20-%20No%20Net%20Loss%20of%20Trees%20Policy.pdf I'm not sure if there were any minor edits in its adoption. I do know that the City will soon be posting links to all policies passed in support of pursuit of ARC Green Communities certification--it is a pretty long list. I'm guessing next step would be for the City and the Sustainability Commission to ensure that those policies are communicated to all and that every change in our city adheres to them. As for the schools, I am often at a loss as to how to keep from going crazy with our current school situation, but I have seen signs of sustainability hope over the years. I was thrilled to hear about the Dekalb County Go Green Initiative a couple years ago that required non-toxic cleaning and landscaping as well as recycling and other eco-improvements. Are these things actually happening? That will require watchdog involvement that I simply cannot offer as I find I'm more effective going where the "ground is ready" and digging in. My last involvement with the schools was advocating for required daily recess, which I believe to be a foundational element for developing eco-literacy. In fact, I was asked to be the chair of the environmental committee at the new school but could not, in good conscience, do so if the school did not even support daily recess (which it did not). I'd like to give a BIG shout-out to Jim Redovian here for championing the adoption of required daily recess for all students in DeKalb County up to grade 5 (and with principal discretion in middle school): here's the link of a SHORT post I wrote which tells why this is important (yes, I know the link has typos, but it's right) http://www.foodshedplanet.com/2009/11/deklab-county-goergia-usa-joins-other.html

Chip said...

Thx, Pattie for the citations. I just wonder, though, how practical achieving this goal in Dunwoody is, really. Since Dunwoody is so heavily developed, the amount of "open space" available for remedial planting is limited. If you exclude streams, buffers, and parkland how much "space" does the city control for planting trees in the event that a construction project clears significant total acreage, especially if there is a change along a major R.O.W. ?

Chip

Pattie Baker said...

It's a definite quagmire, Chip. But the Comp Plan sets the intention for expanding our acres-per-1000 residents beyond our current measly one-third the recommended amount, and that will require some real innovation over the next 20 years.

Our trees not only clean and cool the air and mitigate stormwater but they help maintain property values. As the trees go, so goes the community. Food for thought, and a reason for "non-tree-huggers" to care.

建月 said...

Man proposes, God disposes...................................................................