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Energy workshops aim to empower city residents

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Area Alliance and its Energy Efficiency in the East End project are hosting a series of workshops Saturday to help local residents conserve energy.

Events include discussions and hands-on advice from filmmaker and conservationist Jeff Barrie to create more energy-efficient homes, according to Charleston Area Alliance spokesman Matthew Thompson.

The Energy Efficiency in the East End (e4) project pits residents of different city blocks in the East End against each other to see who can reduce their energy use the most. Saturday's free workshops are part of the effort.

The Charleston Area Alliance's Cullen Naumoff, one of the organizers of the workshops, said Alliance staff and East End planners wanted to bring in a well-known efficiency enthusiast like Barrie to kick off the Energy Efficiency campaign and to present a series of interesting and practical workshops.

"We're trying to create different workshops that would speak to different audiences that still have energy efficiency as a theme," she said. At the same time, organizers wanted to present workshops that show ordinary residents and consumers real things that they could do to improve energy efficiency without spending a lot of money.

Workshops begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Charleston Area Alliance, 1116 Smith St., with a screening of Barrie's documentary, "Kilowatt Ours," which explores energy production and ways to save money and protect the environment.

At 10:30 a.m., Barrie will present ideas for creating a more energy-efficient home with little money. An Appalachian Power Co. representative will be present to talk about the company's HomeSMART energy assessment program.

Lunch will be from noon to 1 p.m. at the Roosevelt Community Center at 502 Ruffner Ave.

An art workshop follows from 1 to 2 p.m. at the East End Bazaar site on Washington Street East. The final event of the day is a visit to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 301 Piedmont Rd., where Barrie and staff from Zegeer Hardware will provide tips and hands-on advice for using recycled and reused materials to make a home more efficient.

For more information, visit www.EastEnde4.com.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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