Energy Audit and Weatherization

As this month has shown us, winter weather can hang around through spring like a guest who can’t take a hint. That means an increased reliance upon heating your home, which sends your energy bills skyward. But what if the problem with your energy bills isn’t just Old Man Winter?

Many homes—even those built within the last 15 years—show extreme energy loss, driving up utility costs. One way to find out if your home is part of the problem is to schedule an energy audit. You can schedule this free service in Butler County by contacting Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families (SELF) and Miami Valley Community Action Partnership (MVCAP) through their Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP). This program–the second largest of its kind in Ohio—helped 1,200 households lower their utility bills in 2017.

“(We) go out and help low-income people who can’t afford certain energy-efficient items such as furnaces or water heaters. We basically make your house a safer house,” said MVCAP HWAP Director, Craig Idle.

HOW IT WORKS

Once a home has been determined eligible for an energy audit, HWAP representatives perform a number of services, including inspecting the heating unit, gas stove, and water tank to learn what money-saving measures can be taken to retain energy in the home. Other services include insulation, sealing heating ducts, weather stripping, repairing or replacing heating systems and/or water heaters, providing energy efficient appliances, programmable thermostats, compact fluorescent lighting, and more—all at no cost to the homeowner. Tamara Day, who is Assistant Director of the program, says many people in Butler County don’t realize they are eligible for Weatherization services from SELF and MVCAP.

“(This) is a home energy savings program that can not only help homeowners but help renters save on their utility bills and reduce air leakage within the home.”

DO YOU QUALIFY?

If your household receives benefits through either the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) or the Percentage Income Payment Plan (PIPP), you qualify for an energy audit. Households at or below 200 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines also qualify for Weatherization services.

People interested in finding out more about the program and if their home qualifies for these services should contact SELF at 513-868-9300 or visit their Hamilton location at 1790 South Erie Highway, Suites A-C.