The Fairfax County HomeWise program actively worked to educate and enable residents to reduce their energy use, water use, and associated costs in September and October.
As a capstone to the 10-week virtual training offered earlier this year, the first class of HomeWise volunteers met at the Fairfax County Government Center in late September to complete a hands-on training with staff and energy experts. Volunteers cycled through three different stations to practice installing weatherstripping on a window, low-flow aerators on kitchen and bathroom sinks, and socket sealers on outlets and light switches. They also practiced presentations on how different types of light bulbs compare to one another, and how to evaluate and use energy efficient bulbs for home use.
In October, volunteers went out into the Fairfax County community to share their knowledge and skills with residents at two demonstration events. On October 2, volunteers and staff set up tables at Sherwood Regional Library and passed out tote bags and provided demonstrations to interested individuals. On October 16, volunteers and staff completed another, similar outreach event at George Mason Regional Library.
At these events volunteers provided demonstrations and distributed more than 100 HomeWise efficiency improvement kits. The kits included weatherstripping, foam tape, socket sealers, a low-flow faucet aerator, and four LED light bulbs. Residents also received general and instructional information on how to install and use these materials. Event attendees were offered the opportunity to enter a raffle to win a smart power strip, which allows the user to easily control electricity use for multiple devices.
The HomeWise team within the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination will continue to look for opportunities for volunteers to provide kits and demonstrations to low- and moderate-income residents in the coming months. Additionally, the team hopes to be able to provide workshops in community centers and housing complexes in the New Year.
The team is also preparing for an upcoming volunteer recruitment period. Starting November 10, the application period to become a member of the second class of HomeWise volunteers will open. The application period will close on December 10. Training for this class of volunteers will begin in January 2022 and they will join our existing volunteers for exciting community engagement opportunities starting in the spring.
Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events and opportunities to get involved with the HomeWise program.
This article is part of a series. A new HomeWise Monthly Update will be published roughly every four weeks and will provide a snapshot of work completed and anticipated activities in the weeks ahead. Check out our Home Energy Savings news feed, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with all the latest HomeWise news.