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Energy conservation meets education in Federal Way

Mayor Jack Dovey imagines Federal Way could be a leader in energy conservation.

But first, the city and its residents must become educated on what is required to increase energy efficiency — and the technologies that will best assist in the process. Dovey and Native Workforce, a group considering opening a center to train citizens for jobs in the energy-reduction field, hosted a forum on the topic Sept. 21.

Corporate representatives, city leaders, product innovators, contractors and staff with Native Workplace, a group focused on providing green career training to American Indians, were in attendance.

The federal government has shown interest in addressing America's heightened consumption of energy. It hopes to simultaneously boost the economy by creating jobs. But before groundbreaking strides can be made, residents and governments alike must know more about energy and how it can be used efficiently, several of the forum's speakers said.

"We have a need in this country for massive communication," Native Workplace executive director Cristala Mussato-Allen said.

There is also a need for leadership in the energy efficiency field, said Paul Dionne, president of VOLT|R Energy Technologies Inc. Those interested in conserving energy need to do their research to make sure the chosen technology will work best with one's lifestyle and abilities. Products such as energy-saving appliances, solar collector windows and products, such as KVAR's power factor optimization device, can all reduce energy costs, he said.

Power factor optimization devices work to make motorized equipment more productive and energy efficient. The gadget works on air conditioners, heat pumps, pool pumps, dishwashers and more.

"The benefit is the carbon footprint reduction, immediately," KVAR CEO Steve Fish said.

Anyone looking to conserve energy and invest in such products should keep a few tips in mind, Dionne said.

• Look for incentives from governments or power supply companies, for example, for investing in new technologies.

• Select a product that is certified.

• Pick a balanced mix of products.

• Monitor the results after the product has been installed.

• Share those results.

Energy conservation education will continue in Federal Way. Native Workforce, in association with KVAR, hopes to partner with Federal Way organizations to provide more information and training in jobs associated with the field, said Erich Bourgault, Native Workforce principal.

Dionne commended Dovey for taking an interest and actively pursuing knowledge on the topic.

"There's a lot of mayors that just sit in their office and do nothing," Dionne said.

Learn more

Visit Native Workplace online at www.nativeworkplace.com.

Visit KVAR Energy Savings, Inc at www.kvarenergysavings.com/index.htm.

Visit Native Workforce online at www.nativeworkforce.com/training.html.

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