A program in Washington County is helping low income residents get help on their utility bills and make energy efficiency upgrades. Energy Trust Oregon and Community Action Organization are working together to provide weatherization upgrades and everything from a new furnace or air conditioning unit to a new roof at no cost to qualified residents.
The efficiency of heating or cooling a house is determined by how well the house is sealed off from the outside. That’s where weatherization upgrades come in. While these type of upgrades are critical to saving on energy bills in the long term, weatherization for a home costs on average $6,000 to $7,000, and that can be cost prohibitive for many people.
Last year, the program helped over 200 families with weatherization upgrades, and they help out regardless of whether the resident rents or owns their home. For some families, the benefits of these upgrades extends beyond just a lower cost to run their homes. In many cases, weatherization makes homes safer and healthier too.
Comments from Kemp Shuey, Executive Director at Community Action Organization and Scott Leonard, Program Manager at Energy Trust Oregon.
Reporting by Althea Billings