PARKERSBURG - Wood County commissioners agreed to provide up to $4,000 for an energy expo scheduled for Dec. 7 at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
"We are focusing more on education and trying to get additional new grant funding for this," commission President Wayne Dunn told his fellow commissioners, noting the expo is part of the SMART Energy Solutions program.
Torie Jackson, public relations/journalism teacher at WVU-P, offered a presentation on the expo to the commission and said it was the brainchild of her students.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Torie Jackson, an instructor in Journalism/Public Relations at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, asked Wood County commissioners to consider contributing money to a community energy expo at WVU-P on Dec. 7.
She said the cost for the expo is $7,192 and includes marketing kits, radio remote, advertising, donations for musical entertainment, contest items and food. She asked the county commission to donate $4,000 for the expo.
"There were about 18 energy audits through the SMART Energy Program conducted on homes; you say you are expecting about 250 people to attend your event," commissioner Blair Couch said.
"It sounds like a good idea," commissioner Steve Gainer said. "But why don't you see how much money you could raise on your own, then come back to us. I'd like to see you try to raise money through private sources first."
* The Bright Ideas Energy Expo is scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 7 at the West Virginia University at Parkersburg College Activities Center.
* The purpose of the community expo is to raise public awareness of energy and how to save energy.
* Exhibitors that have signed on include Pickering Associates, Simonton Windows, Morris Appliance, Superior Solutions, State Electric, Grogg's Heating and Air Conditioning, Environmental Action Group, the WVU-P Energy Assessment Program and the WVU-P Journalism/Public Relations Department.
* Entertainment will be provided by the Hamilton Singers of Hamilton Middle School. Students from the Energy Assessment Program at the college will be doing demonstrations, including insulation cap for recessed lighting, insulating a water heater and weatherizing doors and windows.
Dunn suggested the commissioners donate up to a maximum of $4,000.
"It's a great program; that's how we are more informed," Dunn said. "It's an education process."
Jackson said exhibitors at the event were not being charged.
Exhibitors that have signed on include Pickering Associates, Simonton Windows, Morris Appliance, Superior Solutions, State Electric, Grogg's Heating and Air Conditioning, Environmental Action Group, the WVU-P Energy Assessment Program and the WVU-P Journalism/Public Relations Department.
Jackson said other pending possibilities for exhibitors include Verizon, Community Resources Inc., a local bank and the Parkersburg High School Solar Energy Club.
Entertainment will be provided by the Hamilton Singers from Hamilton Middle School. Students from the Energy Assessment Program at WVU-P will be doing demonstrations that will include insulation cap for recessed lighting, insulating a water heater and weatherizing doors and windows.
"You would probably be surprised by the businesses that would be willing to donate, so you don't have to use taxpayers money," Gainer said.
"We thought you were doing education as part of the program, and we're doing all the leg work for you," Jackson said, noting the expo was less than a month away leaving little additional time for fund-raising. She said grant funding was not available.
Two mini-IPads will be awarded to individuals who participate in a home energy efficiency quiz, which is being conducted through the group's Facebook page, Jackson said.
"We also created marketing kits to remind local individuals that their homes may be sick," she said, adding the kits include promotional materials such as pens, notepads, magnets, a thermometer, a bandage dispenser and hand sanitizer.
A flier reminds residents of ways to save money quickly by making small changes in their homes, Jackson said. The items were purchased through SW Graphics of Parkersburg.
"We are here with the understanding the Wood County Commission has money earmarked for energy education," she said, noting students were raising the reminder of the funds.
In addition to providing the information to the public, the expo is providing a hands-on learning experience for the WVU-P students, Jackson said.