Weatherization program helping families heat homes without the cost
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – As the temperature drops, the cost to keep a home warm at night is likely rising.
Kim Embrey-Hill, the executive director for Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency, talks to a lot of families throughout WAVE Country who need help lowering their energy bill, especially in the winter.
"It's really hard on these families because they don't usually have a lot of extra money to do that kind of thing with," Embrey-Hill said. "We're just trying to give them a little extra income to keep for themselves and not have to spend because all the heat is running out of the house."
Embrey-Hill said the average cost of work for weatherization per home is between $8,000 and $10,000.
Throughout the year, as part of a program through MPCAA, crews work on homes across Kentuckiana, spending four to five days in each one installing attic insulation, wall insulation and replacing ductwork. They also check the furnace and make any necessary repairs, even going as far as replacing the furnace.
The program helps make the energy-related repairs to homes to help lower a family’s heating and cooling expenses. The work is paid for through the Kentucky Housing Corporation with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Families don’t have to pay a cent for the work.
Embrey-Hill said one of their clients said they were paying about $350 a month on their heating bill and are hopeful the weatherization changes will help cut that cost down.
"We don't know for sure how much it will cut it, but I suspect it will cut it at least in half when we're done," Embrey-Hill said. "So, it allows them to spend money on other necessities, you know food, clothing. You know, other things they might need for their children."
"Our goal is to take the heat the occupant has paid for and keep it in the home so it's not escaping from the attic or through the walls," Chris Childers, the weatherization evaluator for MPCAA, said. "Keep the cold out, keep the warm in."
Childers says most of the homes they work on were built before 1975.
"Typically, it is an older home, a 40-year-old home," he said. "They just weren't insulated to today's standards or what we'd like to see."
LG&E recommends homeowners check their insulation and make sure any door seals or weather strips are doing their job.
Families eligible for the program would have a household income up to 200 percent of the current poverty income guidelines. Evaluators then do an audit of homes to see if those eligible would be good candidates.
For more information, call Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency at (502) 574-5050 or (502) 633-2218 and ask for weatherization services.
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