Energy conservation is rapidly becoming not only the responsible thing to do and the right thing to do, it is also becoming the smart thing to do economically. Investments made in home insulation, more efficient appliances and modern heating and air-conditioning units will pay dividends in lower energy consumption — and probably lower utility bills — in the long-term.

But energy-prudent decisions don’t have to involve major outlays of money. Many of those low-cost options will be on display Saturday when Oncor Electric Delivery brings its mobile exhibit to Brownwood for two hours on Saturday.

Beyond the savings homeowners and renters should enjoy as a result, energy conservation is important because it helps reduce the state’s energy usage. It lessens the need for new power plants, helping to offset the increasing demands of new and expanding housing developments and businesses. Oncor, which is the regulated utility that provides electricity over existing poles and wires in the Brownwood service area, brings power to customers regardless of the company a customer chooses. But the company also understands the importance of matching the peak demand with the supply, and of limiting the load placed on the state’s electrical grid.

“Take A Load Off, Texas” is the name of Oncor’s new initiative encouraging residents to make energy efficiency in their homes a priority. You don’t have to be a homeowner to make important reductions in power usage. Some of the tips that will be highlighted at the two-hour demonstration Saturday include reducing air leaks with weather-stripping and caulking, installing compact fluorescent lamps in place of standard incandescent bulbs and checking for leaks in heating and air-conditioning ductwork.

The Oncor van will be at the Weakley-Watson parking lot near the corner of Austin and Coggin avenues from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Brownwood is the first city in Oncor’s service area where the program is being presented, so a degree of community pride is involved in getting a good turnout. If you need another incentive, Oncor representatives will be handing out free energy-efficiency starter kits of supplies for use in your home.

Everyone who is interested in reducing their energy consumption — and saving some money — should plan to stop by.

Brownwood Bulletin