Our client’s homes tend to be old, in poor condition, and very inefficient when it comes to energy and water use. As a result, our clients often use three times the average to heat their homes, do laundry, and power lighting and appliances.Because of the recent economic downturn, the nation’s 26 million low-income homeowners are experiencing unprecedented numbers of utility shutoffs, applications for emergency energy assistance, and foreclosures.
Congress has responded by doubling the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and by pouring $5 billion into Weatherization Assistance for paid contractors to weatherize two million homes. But that still leaves the overwhelming majority of 26 million low-income homeowners literally in the cold. Our country still must confront the huge gap in addressing the energy efficiency needs of affordable housing.
Rebuilding Together is helping to fill that gap with a “one-stop” solution that adds energy upgrades to a whole house rehab. By collaborating with knowledgeable volunteers, skilled trade organizations, community groups, churches, and local businesses, Rebuilding Together affiliates undertake many of the following energy upgrades:
- Insulating attics, crawl spaces, hot water pipes and heating ducts
- Sealing, repairing or replacing windows and exterior doors
- Repairing furnaces and water heaters and installing water heater blankets
- Installing compact fluorescent light bulbs and programmable thermostats
- Installing high efficiency furnaces, water heaters and other appliances
- Testing and fixing toilet leaks and pipe leaks
- Installing high efficiency showerheads and faucet aerators