Dear Anne Marie, Thank you for your work with Green Renters. My husband Doug and I attended the Innovate Ft. Collins event last week and heard your presentation. I hope you win an award so you can reach out to renters to live more sustainably. I would like to suggest another way to reduce electricity use in our city (and the CO2 that power plants produce) that you may have overlooked.
Fort Collins residents including renters should be better educated about an easy way to reduce their use of air conditioners: Open windows and shades at night to let the heat out and cool air in, and close windows and shades during the day to keep the cool in and hot air out. (In the middle of summer, about 8 pm to 8 am windows open, and about 8 am to 8 pm windows shut.) Our family has used this technique for the past 22 years we have lived in Ft. Collins. We lived comfortably for 20 years in a house without an air conditioner. Then we lived for over a year in an apartment ground floor unit and never used the air conditioner. Most of our fellow renters had their air con running day and night unnecessarily while we stayed comfortably cool. We now live in a 3rd floor condo at the Flats at Rigden Farm. We set our thermostat to 79 degrees and have limited our use of the air conditioner to a few hours from mid afternoon to early evening and only when the temperature outside exceeds the mid 80’s. We have noticed that very few of the owners of homes, condos or townhomes, or renters in our neighborhood ever open their windows at night in the summer, leaving their air con running even when it is pleasantly cool outside!
I hope that more people will cut down on their use of air conditioning, save electricity (and money!), reduce CO2 emissions, and experience the joy of listening to crickets at night and birds in the morning! As the head of Green Renters (and teacher of a sustainability class at CSU?) you could spread the word to Ft. Collins renters.
PS I have also e-mailed this idea to several pertinent FC employees and Xcel Energy and am awaiting replies.
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