Free event will teach residents to create energy efficient homes

Thursday, November 7, 2013 | 6:00 p.m. CST; updated 6:32 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 7, 2013

COLUMBIA — As the smell of dusty furnaces heating up begins to fill Columbia houses, residents will have the chance to learn to keep utility bills low and make their homes more energy efficient at the 2013 Free Energy Efficiency Expo on Saturday.

Approximately 20 vendors of energy efficient products will be at Central Missouri Events Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to talk about their products and other methods to keep utility bills low. Admission is free.

Representatives from Columbia Water and Light, Boone Electric Cooperative and Ameren Missouri will talk about insulation, air sealing, gas safety, the future of the energy market and myths about energy efficiency.

"Instead of spending hours researching these things alone, you can discuss your house's specific issues with experts," said Connie Kacprowicz, communications and marketing supervisor for Columbia Water and Light.

The expo will also have educational activities for children. A scavenger hunt will teach children how to use utilities efficiently and a parfait station will use the dessert to explain how an aquifer works. Participants in the scavenger hunt will be eligible to win a bicycle.

There are a few simple steps to make your house more energy efficient, Kacprowicz said. Filling cracks in the house with caulk and adding insulation are the most cost-efficient ways to increase efficiency, especially for houses built before 1990.

"If people are wasting energy, it's not good for them or for the city," Kacprowicz said.

Columbia Water and Light has a website with projects and instructional videos to help residents keep their utility bills low.

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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