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Energy Fair underway Friday in Custer


CUSTER, Wis. (WSAU) --  If you’re one of those people that likes science projects, or you just want to cut your electric bill, you might want to see the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s Energy Fair in Custer this weekend.

The fair is in it’s 24th year. Development Director Doug Stingle says they have seminars and demonstrations, plus a lot of great product vendors to answer questions or help with your ideas. “We’re going to have over two hundred exhibitors here and we’re hoping to see around twenty-thousand people over the weekend here to learn about renewable energy and sustainable living.” Stingle says, “If people are interested in anything to do with renewable energy, or if they’re interested in gardening, or alternative energy-efficient construction, or if they’re looking to build that retirement home to move into, there’s some really great resources and some really great people to talk to here at the energy fair.”

Stingle says technology has made alternative energy systems more efficient and affordable during the last two decades, especially solar electric systems. “The cost of solar electric systems has never been lower than it is today. For example, you would pay probably about fifteen dollars a watt for a system fifteen years ago, and today you’ll pay around four dollars a watt.”

In years past, many of the people interested in renewable energy were investing in systems because they had an interest in preserving the environment. Although that’s still a good reason, Stingle says that’s not the big reason anymore. “There are great environmental benefits to using renewable energy, but at this point, it’s all about economics as well. When you talk about something that can pay for itself and then provide you with free energy for the next fifteen to twenty years at least, that’s something that a lot of people are really interested in.”

Along with the many new energy producing devices, the Energy Fair also features home improvement and building products to save energy, and showcases construction techniques for people planning to build a more efficient home.

Shuttle buses run every hour from hotels in Stevens Point and Plover. The Energy Fair’s website has the program of events, admission prices, and shuttle bus times.