Did you know according to the U.S. Department of Energy, low-income homeowners average spending 16.3% of their total annual income on utility bills alone?
In addition to needing home repair assistance, many of our homeowners also face the financial burden of high utility bills. With that in mind, Rebuild is currently in the process of developing a weatherization program in addition to our home repair capabilities. As today, October 30th, is National Weatherization Day, we wanted to share a little bit about a new initiative we are working on.
Some of you might be wondering,
What is weatherization? And why are you adding this?
I am glad you asked.
The goal of the weatherization program is intended to help low-income households become more self-sufficient through preserving affordable housing, alleviating the long term financial impact of utility bills, and implementing energy conservation practices. Through energy-efficient modifications and education on smart energy choices, homeowners are able to have more control over financial decisions and are less likely to require bill pay assistance. By expanding our weatherization program, Rebuild will be able to extend our current initiative of keeping homes safe and healthy by creating a sustainable solution to ensuring the long term efficiency of each home.
According to the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab’s study of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), showed on average families saved $300 annually in energy costs while also reducing carbon pollution by 2.2 million metric tons.
Providing weatherization assistance helps homeowners stay in their homes, and therefore minimizes the number of low-income individuals who would have otherwise needed to search for affordable housing in the area. In the Greenville community alone, the average cost to build one new affordable home is at least $100,000. For the same investment, Rebuild Upstate can repair and rehabilitate 25 existing homes. Through this approach, we are able to sustain affordable housing by helping families remain in their homes and also provide a substantial investment for our partners.
Now you are probably thinking,
How can I get involved? And what can I do to help?
As mentioned, Rebuild is working on creating a weatherization program, however, we are still in the development phase. Keeping in line with our mission, Rebuild’s desire is for the weatherization service to be at no cost to the homeowner. In order to make this happen, Rebuild is in the process of implementing a referral program, securing program funding, and building community partnerships to make weatherization more accessible to all.
If you are interested in volunteering with our pilot weatherization program or learning more about opportunities with weatherization please contact our Americorps Vista–Weatherization Coordinator, Allie Currie at [email protected].org
Did you know according to a 2019 survey, South Carolina was just named the least energy-efficient state?
Let’s change that. Here are some helpful tips to help you conserve energy and reduce your utility bill.