Are you paying too much for electricity, and can’t afford the upgrades needed to make your home more efficient? Perhaps you are disabled and can’t do the caulking and the insulating needed to lower your bill. Progress Energy has been working on a solution.
Progress Energy for Richmond County will be launching a Neighborhood Energy Saver program, which provides energy-efficiency and conservation improvements in the homes of low-income families at no cost to the customer.
The upgrades will help to reduce customer energy usage and household energy costs.
Today at Monroe Avenue School, 400 Monroe Ave., Hamlet, Progress Energy Carolina Southern Region vice president Melody Birmingham-Byrd will present the details of the program. Hamlet’s mayor Jeff Smart plans to be in attendance, as well as Antonio Blue, mayor of Dobbins Heights.
The goal of the program is to install a comprehensive package of energy conservation upgrades into homes at no cost to the customer.
Progress Energy selects neighborhoods to participate in the program based on a variety of criteria, including the percentage of homes that meet low-income guidelines and concentration of homes in the area.
Prior to installing measures, an auditor will conduct an energy assessment at each residence to identify the appropriate upgrades to install.
Measures include installing compact fluorescent light bulbs and programmable thermostats, changing air filters, caulking doors and windows, insulating water heaters and other upgrades that can help homeowners save up to $95 a year on their electric bills.
In addition to the installation of the upgrades, residents will receive education on energy-efficiency techniques and will be encouraged to make behavioral changes that will help them reduce and control their energy usage.
Progress Energy Florida has implemented this program to assist families in low-income neighborhoods with escalating energy costs.
In conjunction with Pinellas County Urban League, the Florida Department of Community Affairs, and the St. Petersburg Water Resources Department, Progress Energy installed energy-efficiency improvements in about 300 homes and apartments. Customers also learned simple ways to manage their energy use.
“This is an opportunity to help an entire neighborhood better manage the escalating costs of fuel and energy,” said Vincent M. Dolan, vice president of regulatory and customer relations for Progress Energy Florida. “Plus, the educational side of the program will allow families to continue to benefit from the energy-efficiency measures for years to come.”
The Neighborhood Energy Saver pilot began at the end of March in Palmetto Park in the Midtown area of St. Petersburg. A door-to-door approach was used because it impacted an entire neighborhood and because of its outreach, families will learn how to continue the energy-efficiency measures.
Staff Writer Dawn Kurry can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ex. 43, or by e-mail at email@example.com.