Groups in Gainesville Raise Awareness on Weatherization, San Antonio Households Get Renovations
A nonprofit group in Gainesville, Georgia is spreading awareness of a program aiming to reduce the heating utility expenses of low-income households by introducing weatherization treatments.
Ninth District Opportunity Inc. is providing low-income families with home weatherization, which saves energy consumption by barring cold air from leaking into the house during winter.
The Black and Cooley Drive Community Advisory Council reached out to its community and inform them about weatherization by conducting a town-hall style gathering on Athens St. in Gainesville. The council answered queries o how fixed-income households can also avail of the program.
By providing small household renovations that enable energy efficiency, the program is lauded by Diane Tanksley, coordinator for Ninth District opportunity. The program can bring insulation and repair services to residents, but does not cover plumbing and electricity needs.
Weatherization is a home improvement measure that protects buildings and homes from the elements. By protecting the house form precipitation, sunlight, and cold wind, the treatment reduces energy consumption and increase efficiency.
Tanksley added that the residents gain more from the process because it lowers their utility bills. The Ninth District Opportunity will also launch another program that will help residents audit their energy bills.
The organization has been given federal funding to support its weatherization campaign. The program has reached out to 13-counties including Forsyth, Lumpkin, Hall, and Dawson, but according Tanksley those who need the service are not always informed about it.
A resident in the Black and Cooley Drive Community, Johnny Varner is making sure his neighbors are informed about the program and take advantage of it. Many members of the community advisory like Varner are pushing to publicize the information campaigns and assist the residents with their paperwork.
In a similar effort in San Antonio, Texas, the city government coordinated with CPS Energy to provide weatherization to about 160 households. The program, funded by a stimulus, received a total of 17.3 million and is projected to weatherize about 3,500 homes by next year.
The program also include renovations for low-income residents, such as floor, wall and attic insulation, energy-saving lighting and solar panels, as well as services that reduces the risk of mold and mildew and carbon monoxide poisoning.
A number of homes also received weather stripping and caulking on windows and installed with wall heaters. Residents look forward to a 25 percent reduction in utility bills, as calculated by CPS.
Two years ago, San Antonio was initially given $12.4 million to weatherize about 1,400 homes as part of the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The state of Texas received $327 million to improve households and save cost and energy while also creating job opportunities. San Antonio collaborated with CPS which enlisted the work of local companies.
The Texas department of Housing and Community Affairs was busy gathering additional staff while managing the intricacies of federal rules. They then became involved in training the cities, most of which, like San Antonio, had never before been involved in a weatherization program.
If you want to know more about the benefits of weatherization and how to get it for your own home, visit: http://www.ecostarfoam.com/.