Program aims to help residence lower power bills and improve quality of life
The average home spends about $3,000 a year, if not more, on energy. However, did you know thousands of dollars could be saved if your home was properly weatherized?
The Home Energy Upgrade program aims to help low-income families make their homes more efficient so that they can save money and improve their quality of life.
No matter what season it is, every family in the Tennessee Valley relies on utilities in their homes to live comfortably. But for some, the high cost can make paying those bills unattainable.
James Mathis has called his house in Dalewood home for more than 40 years.
"I love my home because it's mine, I'll be honest with you," Mathis said.
However, when he looks at his power bill, it's a different feeling. This Air Force veteran was paying more than $250 per month to keep the lights on.
A church member told him about a way he could save through the HEU program.
"Once the family selection is made, EPB will come out and do an audit on the home and inspection and determine what needs to be done," David Wade, EPB President and CEO, said.
The program looks for inefficiencies in the home and makes repairs for families in need. Mathis was told the wait was several months but received a surprise he won't forget.
"By the grace of God, about an hour and a half later a man pulled up in my yard and told me he was with EPB," he explained.
Through the program, he received a brand new HVAC, weather stripping, a new door and energy efficient LED lights. Mathis has already noticed a big difference.
"It dropped down between $140 to $160 a month, so I saved at least one hundred dollars each month," he said.
Since 2015, HEU has helped 165 families and plans to assist 92 more this year.
"Helping our community and residents of our community be more successful and have a higher quality of life," Wade said.
It's more than just fixing structures and saving money, it's about improving the quality of life for people like Mathis.
"Without the lord on my side, it wouldn't have happened, so I'm very very pleased for what they did for me," he said.
Through the HEU program, average household energy use is reduced by an average of 26 percent, which in turn results in about 33 percent savings on their bills.
EPB and TVA have extended the program for another two years.
People on limited income can apply for assistance by filling out an application online.