On Your Side: Weatherizing Your Home

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News 12 at 6, October 30, 2007

AUGUSTA -- Fall is finally here. Some of you may be enjoying the colder temps, while others may be wondering if turning on the heat will empty your bank account.

12 On Your Side found a program designed to make your home energy efficient so your utility bills don't eat you alive.

It's called the Weatherization Program. What it does is it helps low-income families get their homes as efficient as possible. And if you qualify, it's all free.

When it comes to utility bills, Anreita Hammond is usually paying out the nose; "$200 to $300 when it's cold," she says.

So she put in a call to have her house weatherized.

"Try to make it more energy efficient. Try to save her money," Weatherization Program Coordinator Keesha Johnson said.

So, the C.S.R.A. Weatherization Program came out to do an inspection. It starts with a fancy fan that can measure how much air the house is leaking.

"Once this gets to 50, it tells us how much air is coming out," one worker said while pointing to an electronic display board.

Meaning it can tell how much money Anreita's wasting, while air conditioning and heating the whole neighborhood.

Next up is the visual inspection where inspectors check out the problems with appliances, windows, doors and much more in person.

The inspection is meant to help figure out ways to reduce Anreita's energy bill by keeping it as energy efficient as possible.

After the inspection, all the things that need fixing get fixed.

It's part of a government program that helps low-income folks cut their utility bills and it has a proven track record cutting bills by an average of more than $300 a year.

Here's some numbers to consider. Most households spend around 3.5% of their income on energy bills, but low-income households on average spend around 14%, which can lead to some difficult life choices.

"They have to make a decision on whether they want their lights on or to eat," Johnson said.

A decision made a little easier when you're not busting your budget while you're heating your home. And the best part is it's all free.

If you would like to see if you qualify for weatherization, you can call 706-722-0493. The help is there, all you have to do is call.

You can also send an email to kjohnson@csraeoa.org.

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