Weatherization program helps with home energy efficiency

By Kevin C. Hall – Moutlrie Observer

With resources a fraction of what they were five or six years ago, the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council still manages to improve the energy efficiency of 70 homes a year across 17 counties.

“We’re barely scratching the surface,” CAC Director Randy Weldon said, “but every little bit helps.”

Weldon will be one member of a panel discussing utility issues at an upcoming energy equity forum. The forum will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission, 181 E. Broad St. in Camilla. The event is free, but space is limited. RSVP at www.georgiawatch.org.

Weldon’s role in the discussion will center on the CAC’s Weatherization Program.

In the program, the CAC uses diagnostic tools to find where energy escapes from a home then acts to improve the home’s efficiency. This could be by adding insulation, caulking windows or even making minor repairs, like replacing rotten wood.

“I think a lot of times people don’t realize how big a benefit that can be,” Weldon said.

Most of the program’s clients are elderly and on a fixed income, which can be as low as $5,000 or $6,000 a year, he said.

“When you go in and weatherize a home, it’ll save them $250 to $450 a year,” he said. “That may not seem like a lot, but for those people that can be the difference between getting their medicines and not.”

To learn more about the program, call the CAC at 985-3610 (or 1-800-642-3384 outside of Colquitt County) or attend the energy equity forum.

The forum is sponsored by Georgia Watch, a consumer advocacy group.

“One of the drivers of high energy costs, improperly heated or cooled homes, can also lead to or worsen health problems,” Georgia Watch said in a press release. “Increases in energy efficiency have the potential to improve financial stability and health for Georgians.”

The energy equity forum will educate community members about practical changes that individuals and families can make in their homes and about participation in programs that can lower energy bills, Georgia Watch said. Furthermore, the forum will provide a discussion around energy saving options, like energy efficiency and solar, which have the potential to bring new job opportunities while also reducing energy costs. Attendees will also have the opportunity to provide input about what they see as barriers to energy savings in their communities and learn from utility and community leaders, advocates and policymakers about helping create equitable and accessible energy savings programs.

If you are interested in attending, visit http://www.georgiawatch.org/protect-yourself/energy-and-utilities/camilla-energy-equity-forum-october-7-2017/ to learn more and RSVP. If you would like additional information, please email energyequityforum10717@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2017 Moultrie Observer

Source: Moultrie Observer

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