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With the weather getting colder and the thermostats getting higher, CU Environmental Center’s Student and Community Outreach on Renter Efficiency program is helping students save money this winter.
SCORE is a program created to help students lower their energy usage and bills every month. Xcel Energy funded the entire program for the 2011-2012 school year, making it completely free to students.
The process of having one’s home made more energy-efficient begins with the Scheduling and Operations Coordinator Jesse Fife, 22-year-old senior environmental studies major. Any CU student living in a rental property within the city of Boulder can receive a free SCORE evaluation. Once a renter shows interest, Fife explains that they receive their own Home Energy and Water Evaluation. Fife recruits two of the 10 SCORE trained technicians to come to the renter’s home and perform the evaluation.
The whole process only takes about an hour. When the technicians visit, if half or more of the residents are home, they automatically order a free Cosmos pizza for them. They then install energy saving devices including compact fluorescent light bulbs, water saving shower heads, as well as faucet and sink aerators, all of which will help the renters save money every month.
SCORE technicians will also give renters tips to modify their behaviors to minimize their water and energy usage every month. According to the SCORE website, after the program is complete, renters on average end up saving about $100 every year on light energy alone.
Coordinator of data management, Kier Fortier, a 19-year-old sophomore aerospace engineering student, knows the ins and outs of all the reports SCORE has completed.
Fortier said that not only is SCORE an effective program for renters, but also a split incentive for renters and landlords; landlords don’t want to upgrade homes they aren’t living in and tenants don’t want to spend more money than they already have to.
SCORE offers many benefits that renters are beginning to take advantage of. Fife said that with the program in its fourth semester, they have already completed over 200 evaluations, 80 of which are in this semester alone.
The energy program manager, Susan Beckett, is the professional staff member overseeing SCORE. She applauds their success and said the program’s goal for the rest of the 2011-2012 school year is to double their number and complete another 200 evaluations.
Fortier said that the ECenter is on track to hit that goal, and has his own goals for SCORE.
“I want the SCORE team to be more of a team this year,” Fortier said. “So far, we have done a great job of bonding as a group.”
This unique group of students working for SCORE are coming together and making a difference in the CU-Boulder community.
“All of us who work for SCORE are all very passionate about energy and environmental issues,” Fife said. “So this is a great, tangible way we can work to actually make a difference for the environment, as well as for student renters who benefit from lower utility bills as a result of the visit.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Catherine Marylander at Catherine.email@example.com.