Living for the Journey: By Pam Robinson
Posey County residents may lower their energy costs while supporting their favorite local charity just by scheduling a home energy assessment with ‘Energizing Indiana.’ The program is a united effort by participating utilities, such as Vectren, to promote energy efficiency and to bring savings to communities across the state. Through the end of next year, ‘Energizing Indiana’ hopes to make a difference in the quality of life for Hoosiers.
Jim and I scheduled our home energy assessment just a couple of weekends ago. The appointment scheduler keeps a list of participating local charities that will receive a $25 donation from ‘Energizing Indiana’ at the request of the resident. We designated, for example, Family Matters of Posey County as our charity. So far, so good, we thought. This program sets up a win-win situation for consumers and their favorite causes.
Our energy advisor, Stacy, arrived on a Saturday at 8 a.m., just as we had asked, and walked through our home with us in about an hour. At the end of her visit, she printed out her suggestions for improving our home’s energy efficiency. The visit cost us nothing but our time.
Stacy broke the ice by providing us with a free kit of home improvements: nine CFLs to replace some of our old light bulbs, three low-flow faucet aerators and two low-flow showerheads (1.5 gpm). She even installed all of them for nothing. Likewise, she wrapped our hot water pipe at no charge.
Had we owned an electric water heater, Stacy would have provided free insulation wrap. As it was, she turned down the hot water thermostat to 120 degrees. She assured me my dishes would still come clean. She told the truth, and now I don’t suffer as much from dishpan hands. (Jim and I don’t own an automatic dishwasher, unless a person would bestow that title on our teenage daughter Jessica.)
Stacy encouraged us to have insulation blown into our attic to keep our home cooler in summer and to prevent our heat from escaping in winter. Of course, the real bonus is savings on the utility bill. For income qualified residents, ‘Energizing Indiana’ will go so far as to pay the cost of attic insulation.
Jim and I have also turned our thermostat up to 75 degrees as opposed to 72 degrees for cooling. Eventually, we want to work our way up to 78 degrees, as Stacy recommended. The adjustment takes some getting used to, but the tradeoff for a lower utility bill is a definite reward.
We consider the visit a huge success. Stacy was nonintrusive as she stuck to her agenda of helping us save energy and money and worked efficiently. She told us we were helping to energize Indiana through the small changes we made and were with the program in our energy use. We ought to earn an energy star once we have our attic insulated this fall.
Besides its residential program, ‘Energizing Indiana’ offers commercial and industrial programs as well as school programs. For full program details and requirements, those interested may visit www.energizingindiana.com or call 888-446-7750. Participants will see that ‘Energizing Indiana’ lives up to its promise, ‘Together we’ll do powerful things.’