Free energy audits for elderly and disabled

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BENNINGTON >> The Southwest Vermont Council on Aging is now receiving a grant from Efficiency Vermont to help seniors over the age of 60 (as well as eligible younger disabled folks) save energy and money in their homes through home energy visits.

SVCOA's volunteer coordinator, Aaron Brush checks to see if the home has been weatherized or not. If it has been weatherized, then nothing more can be done. If it has not been weatherized, then SVCOA checks the individual's home electricity usage (kw/h). From this point, there are two types of referrals; high-users and non-high users. If the individual is a non-high user (regardless of income), then an SVCOA will send a trained volunteer to go in and complete a walkthrough and direct install of energy efficient products. If the individual is a high-user, then we look at income in the following manner:

• Low income (household income of < $42,062.40) individuals – an SVCOA volunteer will go in and do a walkthrough but without the direct install of energy efficient products. Instead, the volunteer will assist the client in filling out the "Target High Use Form". The Target High Use Form will then be forwarded on to Efficiency Vermont and BROC. Then, within 30 days of receiving the Target High Use Form, BROC will send out one of their trained volunteers to complete the direct install of energy efficient products as well as to install new appliances as needed at no cost to the client. NOTE - The appliances that may be installed under the free appliance replacement are: washing machines, refrigerators, freezers, hot water saving devices, electric hot water heaters or space heaters with new heat pump technology.

• Not low income (household income of > $42,062.40) individuals – an SVCOA volunteer will go out and complete the direct install of energy efficient products.

A home energy visit involves:

• Installing low-cost energy efficient products, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs and low-flow showerheads.

• Identifying energy saving opportunities in the home, such as opportunities for replacing inefficient appliances and home weatherization.

• Providing seniors with resources and information to help them save more energy.

A home energy visit is not a professional energy audit, but rather a walk-through assessment. Visits are conducted by trained volunteers who have been approved by the Southwest Vermont Council on Aging. Each visit lasts approximately one to one and a half hours.

All energy efficient products are provided free-of-charge to seniors.

If you are interested in scheduling a visit, please contact Aaron Brush at 802-772-7835.


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