LISTEN: Empowered on the Radio

Featured

Producer Suzanne McMannis, Director Shira Evergreen, Art Weaver of Renovus Energy (featured in the film), and Guillermo Metz, Coordinator of the Green Building and Renewable Energy Program with Cornell Cooperative Extension, were on Ithaca Community Radio 88.1 WRFI, on Tuesday morning, February 12th discussing Empowered, Renovus Energy, Solar Tour Dryden and Solarize Tompkins SE. You can listen to the show in two parts:

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2/12: Empowered on the Radio

Producer Suzanne McMannis, Director Shira Evergreen, Art Weaver of Renovus Energy (featured in the film), and Guillermo Metz, Coordinator of the Green Building and Renewable Energy Program with Cornell Cooperative Extension, will be heard on Ithaca Community Radio, 88.1 WRFI, on Tuesday morning, February 12th, at 7:00 am.

They will be talking about the possibilities of using the sun to heat your water and to power all things electrical – including your radio! Tune in to learn about the new initiatives Solar Tour Dryden and Solarize Tompkins SE!

Dryden and Caroline Getting Empowered

Town of Dryden residents, under the auspices of DRAC, the Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition, are organizing monthly green house tours to encourage people to explore the many renewable energy options now available. Each month will feature a different home in Dryden where the homeowners have made a commitment to offset at least part of their fossil fuel consumption with alternative energy. The event will allow visitors to see a renewable installation at work and talk with the owners at length about living with the system – cost, efficiency, decision-process. The tours will be open to the public and run year-round. Stay tuned for more details!

In other news, renewable energy advocates in Caroline and Dryden have started work on a campaign to enhance the presence of solar power in their communities. Details are still being worked out. If you are interested in this very exciting renewable energy effort, please contact Energy Independent Caroline for further information.

Report from the Newfield Screening

The organizers of Newfield PAUSE (People Advocating the Use of Sustainable Energy) share a summary of the recent screening they organized…

About sixty residents from Newfield and surrounding towns, including Dryden, Ithaca, Trumansburg, Spencer, Van Etten, Owego, and Apalachin, filled the Newfield Fire House, on December 8, to view Empowered: Power from the People. The Newfield Community Conversation, sponsored by the Newfield group PAUSE—People Advocating the Use of Sustainable Energy—included a reunion of many of the film’s participants and lively discussion of the making of the film, grid-tied and off-grid solar, solar leasing, wind, geothermal energy, and green building. The unique opportunity to hear diverse perspectives on planning for, installing, and living with sustainable energy was made possible through discussion with Shira Evergreen, director, Suzanne McMannis, producer, and David Means, Annie Korman, Carolyn Kreisel, Sarah Highland, as well as Lily Gershon, Tompkins County home dwellers who were featured in the film.

Attendees came away with a greater awareness of the possibilities for renewable energy in Tompkins County and—so important—the determination to bring sustainable energy to our homes and communities. The film’s impact is illustrated by the response to the final questions of the evening, First question: “How many of you are working on installations or are developing new technology?” Four or five people raised their hands. Second question: “How many of you are considering installing some kind of sustainable energy system in your home or business?” About 75%-80% of the hands went up.

After the movie and formal discussion, attendees took advantage of the opportunity to network and discuss technological issues and other questions with the film’s participants.

12/8: Newfield PAUSE Screening with Reunion Panel

PAUSE, People Advocating the Use of Sustainable Energy, was founded by Newfield, NY residents concerned about the impacts of shale gas extraction on our town and region. PAUSE seeks to create a world in which people, animals, plants, and all communities flourish. We are excited to announce that PAUSE is organizing a screening of Empowered on December 8th, which will feature a jam-packed panel reuniting many of the Tompkins County residents featured in the film. We’ll have DVDs of the film and YIMBY signs for sale – they make great holiday gifts! Hope to see you on the 8th…

12/8/12, Newfield, NY: Newfield PAUSE (People Advocating the Use of Sustainable Energy) Screening
Saturday, December 8th, 2012, 7pm
Newfield Fire Hall
77 Main Street, Newfield, NY
FREE, Refreshments provided
The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Director Shira Evergreen, Producer Suzanne McMannis, and from the film: Annie Koreman, Carolyn Kreisel, David Means, Sarah Highland and Lily Gershon

Cooler Weather Means Energy Efficiency is Essential

As the weather cools down here in Ithaca, NY, energy efficiency is at the forefront in our minds. Now is the time of year that proper insulation and venting can make a huge difference in your energy bill. Or if you’re someone like Cal Walker, who tells the story of battling a huge ice dam on his house in Empowered, it can be a matter of life or death.

In this video clip, you’ll hear Cal Walker of Village at Ithaca and Gay Nicholson of Sustainable Tompkins discussing the very real effects of energy inefficiency in our community.

Applying the Lessons of Empowered to Our Home

Since the premiere of Empowered almost a year ago, my wife Ari (who made the animations) and I have been working on applying the lessons we learned in making the film to our own house. In addition to insulating, sealing, and upgrading appliances, we are now using 20% biodiesel in our furnace and have solar panels installed on our roof. You can learn all about our journey and find out about programs that make these renovations accessible to all through the article I wrote for Tompkins Weekly’s “Signs of Sustainability” series.

Tompkins Weekly, August 20-26, 2012
PDF version: A Model for Creating that ‘Green’ Home, scroll to page 8