Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Check out Energy Savers at Libraries; Kits to Evaluate Power and Water Use Available Next Month

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Check out Energy Savers at Libraries; Kits to Evaluate Power and Water Use Available Next Month

Article excerpt

Byline: BETH REESE CRAVEY

Got a library card? Soon you will be able to use it to cut your home energy costs.

In March, residents on the Southside and across Jacksonville will be able to check out JEA do-it-yourself Home Energy Evaluation Kits at public libraries that can help them save energy in their homes and reduce power bills.

The kits, in backpacks made from reclaimed billboard vinyl by Jacksonville's Burro Bags, include special meters and other tools to help residents conduct an energy evaluation in their own home free, along with an instruction manual and a resource book.

Six kits provided by JEA will be available at each Jacksonville library. They may be checked out for 21 days, must be returned to the branch at which they were checked out and, because of limited supply, cannot be put on hold.

Making kits available at all libraries stemmed from a successful pilot project in November in which four kits each were placed at four select libraries, said Ali J. Loftin, a Jacksonville Public Library spokeswoman.

"The backpacks have been very popular," she said. "With the cold weather we've had, higher utility bills have resulted, so they'll be interested in ways to reduce their costs."

The instructions are "very simple" and easy to read, Loftin said.

JEA will hold workshops in February at the libraries that have the pilot kits - West Regional, Mandarin, Beaches and Main - to explain how to use the backpacks and provide ways to save money on utility bills.

"JEA's goal is educate our customers so that they can use the services we provide more efficiently. The more customers understand their energy usage, the more they can save," said JEA spokeswoman Gerri Boyce. …

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