12:15pm

Wed May 25, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Berea Assesses Energy Use

Looking ways to save energy and money, the City of Berea has joined in an Energy Cost Savings Plan. The project is a collaboration of  Berea city government, the Kentucky Environmental Foundation and Sustainable Berea. Mayor Steve Connelly says rising gasoline prices justify a change.

“It makes you more aware of the size of vehicles you’ll be buying, the frequency that you’re using them, are there alternatives?  There are plenty of immediate opportunities to save money and that’s part of what this project is going to identify,” said Connelly.

Change, no matter how noble the intention, can prompt resistance and controversy.  That also applies to attitudes toward energy use. Mayor  Connelly anticipates some pushback down the road as people adapt to rising energy costs. But Connelly says changes can be immediate, and simple.

“Children riding a bicycle to school, rather than having their parents drive them in a SUV. There are multiple ways that individuals, families, governments, companies can look at the way they do business and save energy, broadly defined,” said Connelly.

Findings from the Energy Cost Savings Plan will be used to develop a community-wide energy use plan. For the next year or so, data will be collected on Berea’s electricity and water usage, waste management and recycling and transportation-related emissions.   That information will then help the city devise a plan for reducing long-term energy use.