An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

DIY energy and water use audit kits available at area libraries

SARASOTA COUNTY – Sarasota County is now offering do-it-yourself (DIY) energy and water use audit kits for checkout at Sarasota County libraries.

"The kits and the accompanying Home Energy and Water Evaluation Guide have been created to provide area residents with a simple and economical way to evaluate their home energy and water use," said Lee Hayes Byron, Sarasota County Sustainability. "Plus, users can learn about more ways they can save resources and money."

The kits are a part of the Sarasota County Energy Upgrade program, which provides residents with various levels of information on residential resource-saving opportunities.

The program's website,, offers in-depth, room-by-room energy-saving tips, in-person workshops, Family Sustainability Kits and other resources.

The DIY audit kit available at county libraries is intended to serve those residents who have already gone beyond those first-level actions and are ready for the next step. The kit is designed for homeowners who would like to go much further into detail in analyzing their home's energy and water use and quantifying savings, said Byron.

It provides a step-by-step guide, as well as the technical equipment necessary to determine specific energy and water use profiles and solutions for the home. The guide is broken into two sections: the Energy Audit and the Water Audit.

"Residents may choose to focus on only one or the other for now, or to address both at the same time. The two sections are designed to function independently to allow you that flexibility," said Byron. "The kit and guide, however, are not intended to be a replacement for professional services. Our residents' safety is a top priority; so if they don't feel comfortable performing a guided task during the evaluation then they should stop the process."

The kits, which offer tools for residences to learn more about saving money on their electric and water bills while lessening their impact on the environment, include:

Items to Return to the Library:
  • Backpack
  • Home Energy and Water Evaluation Guide, Sarasota County
  • Shift Your Habit: Save Money, Save the Planet, Elizabeth Rogers, 2010
  • The Blue Green Book: The Simple Water Savings Guide to Everything in Your Life, Thomas Kostigen, 2010
  • The Everything Guide to Living Off the Grid: A Back to Basics Manual for Independent Living, Terri Reid, 2011
  • Infrared Thermometer
  • Hygro Thermometer
  • Kill A Watt Meters (three)
  • Ruler
  • Tape Measure
  • Calculator
  • Shower Timer

Items You May Keep:

  • Reusable Shopping Bag
  • Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb
  • Faucet Aerator
  • Outlet Insulating Gaskets (four per kit)
  • Flip Switch Insulating Gaskets (four per kit)
  • Water Flow Measurement Bag
  • Energy Saver booklet, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Energy Conservation Information Wheel
  • Water Conservation Information Wheel
  • Water Cycle Wristband Kit

For more information about the kits and accompanying guide, visit the link below, or call the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000.​