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Insulation project will save low-income households tens of thousands in energy costs
Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, AmeriCorps members and several organizations, 22 low-income families in Monroe County will live in homes with well-insulated attics.
That’s the result of a just-completed project in which the Monroe County Energy Challenge, City of Bloomington, South Central Community Action Program and Vectren teamed up to provide free or low-cost attic insulation and air sealing.
In just six weeks during July and August, a team of nine National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) members air sealed and insulated the 22 homes, reducing the participants’ annual utility costs by an estimated $5,313 this year. The NCCC members were trained by Monroe County Energy Challenge volunteers and their work was inspected by a licensed professional.
With predicted utility costs, the insulation and sealing project is expected to result in savings of more than $84,000 over the next 10 years. The project will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 46,323 lbs. per year, while also improving the comfort and warmth of the families living in the insulated homes.
“We are thrilled with the results of the attic insulation pilot program and are actively looking for ways to expand the program in the future,” said Monroe County Energy Challenge Outreach Coordinator Jackie Duemler.
The project was funded by a $20,000 grant from the Vectren Foundation to the South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP), as well as by smaller grants and donations. This is the second major grant Vectren has made to support the Monroe County Energy Challenge.
Vectren previously provided a $58,603 grant to SCCAP for Energy Challenge initiatives and outreach. These included purchasing and equipping an EnergyMobile, a Toyota Prius V hybrid, that’s used to share information and materials for energy efficiency in schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.
"The Monroe County Energy Challenge is a great way to not only educate people about the importance of energy conservation,” said Tom Moore, Manager of Community Engagement for the Vectren Foundation, "but to build community by engaging residents in the process."
The project was coordinated by Duemler, Jacqui Bauer and Eric Chalfant of the Energy Challenge with support from partners and volunteers including Woodie Bessler of the Southern Indiana Renewable Energy Network, Terry Quigley of SCCAP, Nolan Hendon and Alex Jorck of City of Bloomington Utilities, Loren Stumpner of Stumpner’s Building Services and Doug Clausman of Advanced Energy Solutions.
The Energy Challenge is currently looking at ways to continue the attic insulation and sealing program now that the AmeriCorps members have moved on to do work in other communities.
Mayor John Hamilton proclaimed Aug. 31 NCCC AmeriCorps Team Oak 7 Day in Bloomington in honor of the hard work completed by members in contributing to energy conservation and the well-being of low-income households.