Weatherization Blitz helps local residents save money this winter
By Cathi Sasportas - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Thu., Nov. 21, 2013
Even on a 60-degree day in the middle of November, the coming cold weather was not far people’s minds at the Windsor Senior Center. A group of people gathered in the cafeteria on Nov. 18 so they could learn more about how to make their homes more energy-efficient in preparation for winter’s arrival.
Windsor Social Services caseworker Maggie Saunders planned the event. The Weatherization Blitz was offered to help people become aware of programs through Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas that can help both homeowners and renters save money by making their homes or apartments more energy-efficient.
Saunders invited representatives from Home Energy Solutions, a program Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas provide, to talk to low-income residents about applying for the program. The program normally costs $75, but lower-income families can qualify for the program for free.
Tasha Perreault from Home Energy Solutions presented the program to the people who had chosen to attend the Weatherization Blitz. Even though it was held in the Senior Center, people of any age were welcome to attend.
Perreault first asked everyone in the group if they understood what all the charges were on their power bills. When everyone admitted they did not, she pointed out that one of the charges actually pays for the Home Energy Solutions program. “So you are paying into it without it really helping you right now,” she said.
She then went on to explain how the program works and how it can help people. Perreault said once you sign up for the program, a certified technician come into your home and checks the furnace to make sure it is working efficiently. She also said they will perform a blower door test to check for leaks around doors and windows. Any leaks will be caulked by the technician.
The program also changes over all light bulbs in the home to energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. The technicians will also check all faucets and shower heads. Perreault said they will replace shower heads with low-flow heads and will fix faucets so they will be low-flow as well. “You don’t notice the difference,” Perreault said, “but it really does reduce your water use, and your water bill.”
Perreault also detailed how the technicians check insulation, windows and appliances to make sure they are energy-efficient. She said that low-income residents may qualify for free or very reduced-cost replacement or installation of these items. People who do not qualify to have the technician come for free could still qualify for rebates if they purchase new energy-efficient items.
“Each home gets an individualized inspection and individual items because each home is different and each family usage is different,” Perreault said.
There is no deadline to sign up for the program, but Saunders said the sooner you sign up, the better. She said she encourages people in Windsor to sign up for the program. Saunders is available to help people fill out the application and apply for financial assistance. You can reach her by calling her office at Windsor Social Services at 860-285-1839. You can also find out more about the Home Energy Solutions program by visiting energizect.com.