EastpointeJune 29, 2012
Energy savings come to Eastpointe
By Sara Kandel
C & G Staff Writer
EASTPOINTE — BetterBuildings for Michigan has extended its home energy audits and energy savings opportunities to residents in Eastpointe.
The program, run through the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office, helps homeowners save on energy costs by assessing energy leaks and offering large savings on energy-efficient upgrades.
“It’s a great opportunity to work on your home,” said Gillian Ream, the communications coordinator for the program. “Every homeowner has a to-do list a mile long, and this program is a chance to take care of some easy items at a very low cost to the homeowner. Best of all, each upgrade helps keep money in your pocket. People who have participated so far are saving an average of $200 per year.”
For $100, residents who participate in the program receive a professional energy assessment valued at $350-$400, a programmable thermostat, 10 compact fluorescent light bulbs, faucet aerators, up to two low-flow shower heads and an assortment of savings opportunities on additional work.
“If you choose to do additional work to reduce the energy cost in your home after the assessment, not only do you get access to special incentives, but you can apply the $100 cost of the program toward that,” Ream added.
The savings really do add up. In neighboring Roseville, which was a launch city for the program, 85 homeowners have participated. The city was rated as bringing in the third most energy savings in the program, with an average savings of $202 a year there.
Some residents see even larger savings. One Roseville man previously told the Eastsider that he received $3,000 of work for only $180 after all the incentives and rebates.
“We had a really mild winter, so it’s hard to calculate the actual long-term cost savings we will see, but I would estimate that even with the mild weather, we saved about $200 in energy cost this year,” said Michael Sova, the Roseville resident who experienced great savings while participating in the pilot program last year.
“We’re pretty ecstatic about how the program has worked out for us,” added Sova, who said through the rebates he was able to cover the majority of the cost of insulating the walls, ceiling and attic of his home.
According to Ream, insulation issues are one of the most common causes of energy leaks in 1950s-era brick-ranch homes, which are common in both Roseville and Eastpointe.
With such great savings opportunities, officials in Eastpointe have been vying for the program since its launch.
“The city of Eastpointe was one of the first to ask for the program again when they learned it would be available in more areas,” Ream said. “When we expanded to 23 new areas, we were excited to include Eastpointe residents in the program.”
The program is another positive for Eastpointe homeowners at a time when property values continue to decline, but it won’t be around for long.
“The Obama (stimulus) bucks are going to run out by the end of December, so we have to spend the money or we are going to lose it, because by December, it will be gone,” said Eastpointe City Manager Steve Duchane. “We have to have these people signed up that are going to participate; we have to at least have them signed up by then.”
To sign up, gather more information about the program or speak to an energy specialist, residents can visit the Regional Energy Office website at www.regional energyoffice.org or call (313) 566-4801.
There are a lot of energy savings tips residents can easily use in their home. Gillian Ream of the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office suggests people with air conditioners keep the door to their basement closed when running the A/C to keep the cool air upstairs. For residents who don’t have A/C, Ream suggested placing a fan at the top of the basement stairs to pull cool air up from the basement. “There are a lot of little things that most people don’t think about or don’t know that can help reduce energy cost,” she said. For more, visit www.regionalenergyoffice.org.
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