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WAPA Spokeswoman Honored for Energy-Conservation Efforts

April 22, 2008 — Cassandra Dunn, V.I. Water and Power Authority spokeswoman, received the Vincent D. George "Light the Way" Award Tuesday for promoting energy conservation in the territory and her conservation and use of solar power at home.
The award is given by the V.I. Energy Office to an individual, business or organization that has demonstrated or promoted the use of energy efficiency or renewable-energy technology in their homes or businesses. It commemorates the life of the late Vincent D. George, a longtime Energy Office director. Bevan Smith Jr., the office's current director, presented the award at a ceremony in the Fredrick E. Dorsch Center in Frederiksted.
"Mrs. Dunn was selected to receive the award because of her tenacious attitude regarding energy conservation and professionally sharing that message with residents," Smith said. "She has also led by example through efficiency measures undertaken at home, and her commitment to preserving the environment of the Virgin Islands — and, ultimately, the world — warrants this recognition."
Smith cited many projects and actions of Dunn's that merit recognition.
"With her team of dedicated employees and the impetus of Energy Star's 'Change a Light, Change the World Campaign,'" Smith said, "Mrs. Dunn led CFL (compact fluorescent light) caravans into 40 neighborhoods throughout the territory to distribute over 60,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs, which will ultimately save WAPA customers over $7 million within four years."
He also praised Dunn for her role in making WAPA an Energy Star Partner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2006. On a personal basis, she has installed a solar water heater and other energy-saving devices at her home, and is in the process of putting in a photovoltaic electrical system, he said.
Dunn attributed her focus on conservation to her parents.
"You know, I'm starting to believe that my constant talking about the importance of energy efficiency through conservation, particularly in our community, must be in my DNA!" she said. "I grew up in New York in a household with West Indian parents whose favorite admonishment was, 'Girl, turn off those lights. Do you think we got a cousin at Con Edison?' That was back in the good old days."
Noting that Tuesday was Earth Day, a day for reflection upon individuals' impact on the environment, Dunn exhorted those listening to take simple, easy steps to be more energy efficient.
"Many of the energy-saving behaviors we speak about are really very effective when we religiously put them into practice," she said. "For those of us living in the Virgin Islands, celebrating Earth Day today can be as simple as changing a light bulb or going that extra step to be our neighbor's keepers. … Whether we give someone a gift of energy-saving light bulbs, install low-flow shower heads to save water, recycle to lessen the burden on our landfills, conduct our own home energy audits, carpool to save gas, or pool our resources to invest in renewable-energy systems for our neighborhoods, we automatically become part of the solution."
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