If you want to learn how to save money in your home, stop by the Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair. The building on Machinery Hill is the second busiest building at the Fair, and inside there are several energy saving reasons why.
The Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency first designed Eco Experience in 2006 to inspired people to lead more sustainable lives. Each year exhibits change to encourage people to incorporate "greener" practices into their homes.
"The first part of being eco–friendly is saving energy," said Pamela McCurdy, information officer with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. "We talk a lot about energy audits in the Energy Solutions Home. It's really your gateway to savings."
In the Energy Solutions Home exhibit, experts are on hand to discuss every aspect of home energy savings. Inside the exhibit, you can pick up a code to use for an energy audit that will knock the $300 price down to $60.
"It's a huge opportunity because if you can save thousands, it's a good investment in your home," said McCurdy.
Then, pick up energy-saving devices to take home.
"Centerpoint energy will be here giving away these wall plate switches away," said McCurdy. "Some of the biggest air leaks come out of switches in your house. Put these in and they'll stop air leaks and save quite a bit of money."
For the bathroom, there's blue tablets you can take home to help identify water leaks. "Every day we are giving out these great blue tablets, and demonstrating how to use them. You just drop them in toilet and can see if you have a water leak," said McCurdy.
Before you leave the Eco Experience, fill up your water bottle at one of the fair's filling stations. "It's basically a water filling station," said McCurdy. "You can bring your own bottle and refill it as many times as you need during the Fair."
Finally, bring your questions. From composting to recycling, this is the place to have your energy–saving questions answered. More than 150 experts will be at the Eco Experience during the Fair. Some will be available for one-on-one questions; others will be giving in-depth presentations on the Sustainability Stage inside of the building.
"A great tool is you get free advice here," said McCurdy. "You can come and ask experts in solar energy or recycling and learn about how you can make improvements to your home."
Eco Experience is located in the Progress Center on Randall Avenue. It's open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Shannon Slatton, reporting
August 22, 2012