Arlington County will open a drop-in Energy Center Monday, where residents can come for advice on energy-saving devices and procedures such as weather-stripping, caulking and insulating.
The center, in the Virginia Extension Service Center at 855 N. Edison St., will be open every Monday from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is being funded with a $9,400 grant from the Virginia Extension Service. All services at the center will be free.
"Our goal is to get information to the citizen before he spends money on weatherizing his home," said center coordinator Barbara Nash. "He should know what he wants to do and he should learn about it from an unbiased source. He needs to know about the differences of caulking or insulation or storm windows so he can invest in the items with the properties he wants. He also needs to know how the work should be done. It's our job to help him make a wise decision."
The center, created at the suggestion of the county Energy Conservation Advisory Committee, will be staffed by volunteers specially trained in energy conservation. There are now 17 volunteers, and classes to train more will begin next month, Nash said.
The center will include an information library, pamphlets for consumers and models of energy-efficient devices.
One service offered by the center will be home energy audits -- questionnaires that residents fill out describing such features of their home as heating, size of windows and number of doors. The form is then sent to the Virginia Office of Emergency and Energy Services, where it is run through a computer to evaluate the types of energy-saving measures the house needs. Residents are sent the completed evaluation, including suggestions about the most cost-effective energy savers.
To encourage citizens to use the center, Nash said, the first 600 citizens who return completed energy audit forms will receive a water-saving shower head.