A pilot program that started a few years ago as a collaboration between the Sonoma County Energy and Sustainability Division, the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), Sonoma Clean Power (SCP), and the Sonoma County Libraries to offer do-it-yourself toolkits to reduce energy and water usage has expanded to include all 12 libraries in the county system.
“The kits have been successful,” says Jennifer Duran, Children Services Librarian for the Rohnert Park Cotati Library. “The program expanded from three pilot locations, in Guerneville, Sebastopol, and Central Santa Rosa, to now including all the branches.”
The toolkits, which can be checked out like a library book for up to three weeks, include tools and a guidebook to help residents manage their own home energy conservation projects. Measuring devices like a Kill-a-Watt, infrared laser thermometer, and flow rate bag which are in the kits help to save energy, water and money. The kits include items and directions to weather strip windows and doors, monitor electrical usage, find water leaks, install aerators and make homes more efficient with dimmable LED light bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
“Most people seem really happy about the four LED light bulbs included in the kit,” says Shannon Britten, Associate for the Rohnert Park Cotati library. “The booklet explains how to use everything.”
While some items need to be returned in the kits, residents can keep the consumable items such as the LED light bulbs, weather stripping and low-flow showerheads. As of 2018, 255 customers made energy efficiency upgrades using the kits.
“I’ve seen some people come in with their children to check out the kits in order to do it together as a learning project,” says Donna Scornavacca, Specialist for the Rohnert Park Cotati Library.