News 12 @ 6 o'clock -- October 27, 2008
AIKEN, SC -- Mary Collins has called this Aiken house home for twenty years. She says with all that she's going through, her electricity bill should be the least of her worries.
"I'm on dialysis, I've got heart problems, I'm a diabetic and high blood. I go to dialysis three times a week," said Mary Collins.
Collins says her electricity bill has been as high as four hundred dollars and she couldn't figure out why.
"I know I had to turn my heat up real high to try to get it warm in here and it was never really warm to me," said Collins.
And now after weatherizing her home; she knows the answer.
"She was actually heating and cooling the ground instead of her house, her duct work was in such bad condition," said Nick Adams of the Aiken Community Action Agency.
SCE&G and the Community Action Group of Aiken are working to fix those problems. From replacing those bad ducts, to reinstalling insulation; their goal is to save Collins money.
"These are all things that are going to make their homes more efficient for the winter so they can realize the benefits of a lower heating bill," said Rhonda O'Banion of SCE&G.
"In this particular house, I think we can cut her bills by 40 percent. We did check her bills and they were 400 dollars a month," said Adams.
And saving some extra cash is what Collins says is the best thing about the whole process.
"It's important to me because I'll be able to save a few nickels," said Collins.
Money that can be used for other things rather than just heating her house.
"I just thank the lord for them, I really do."
SCE&G donated fifty thousand dollars towards weatherization projects this winter. The company says the usual cost for this service is around 52- hundred dollars.
There are two numbers you can call to see how to get your home weatherized. In South Carolina call 803-734-0662. In Georgia call 706-722-0493. Again, this will only get you started and just because you call won't mean you will qualify for the service.