ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Whether you're interested in reducing utility costs, creating more comfortable living spaces, or conserving our natural resources, our weatherization services can help. Members of Green Iowa AmeriCorps undergo training and earn Building Analyst Professional certification from the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Armed with this training, our service teams assess a home's efficiency, evaluate problem areas, and seek potential solutions.
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THREE STEPS (and it's all free):
#1 | Home Energy Performance Audit
A home energy audit is the first step in assessing how much energy a home consumes and evaluates what measures can be taken to make the home more efficient. Our energy audits consist of two parts: the blower door test and the initial walk-through. The blower door is specialized equipment that allows us to measure the level of air infiltration by surveying the extent of air leaks in the home envelope. As a leading cause of inefficIency in homes, air infiltration can potentially drive up the price of utility bills due to its impact on heating/cooling systems. While the blower door test is running, members will walk-through the home and search for areas where such energy loss might be occurring. By the end of this two-step process we will have an idea of how much work will be needed and provide an estimated cost. Audits are always free.
#2 | Weatherization
Depending on the results of the initial home energy assessment, Green Iowa members will schedule a follow up weatherization to address problem areas. Members spend anywhere between 2-8 hours reducing air infiltration and making efficiency improvements to the home. Each home is different. Cost of labor is always free. Cost of materials used to be free only for qualifying households, and provided at-cost for non-qualifying households. During the 2016-2017 service year, a change was made to provide all services absolutely free for everyone!
#3 | Evaluation & Education
After making the needed adjustments, the team will conduct a post-weatherization blower door test to calculate the effectiveness of the service. If requested, members can also inform the resident on energy and money saving strategies or refer them to their local utility provider for additional information.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Weatherization materials are free to all households. Households that fit our target demographics include: low-income, LIHEAP recipients, military veterans, senior citizens (65+), disabled persons. Energy audits are always free. Cost of labor is always free.
After the initial pre-test audit, our crew leader will provide a material cost estimate.
A typical weatherization will tackle problems such as:
Windows – Permanent solutions such as caulking and sealing around window frame, installing sash locks. Seasonal (temporary) solutions include rope caulking and window kits.
Doors – Install weather stripping, door sweeps, caulking.
Attic accesses – Insulate attic access door, seal perimeter with foam tape, ensure a tight seal with a latch lock or weight.
Outlets – Insulate outlets and light switches with foam gaskets.
Rim joists – Seal the area where the foundation meets the house frame with friction-fit rigid foam and caulk.
Ducts – Seal duct joints with HVAC tape and/or mastic.
Water pipe – Insulate hot and cold water pipes with foam sleeves to reduce conductive heat loss.
Efficiency improvements – Install Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and low-flow sink & shower aerators.
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Outreach and Education Services
We visit schools, community groups, conferences, or any other organized event!
Educational themes and workshop activities include:
- Hands-on home weatherization training
- Identify energy waste
- Energy and water conservation
- Recycling and waste reduction
- Weatherization basics training program
- Appliances, Energy Star, and rebates
- Design a custom presentation
- Energy board games & trivia
- Home energy use calculator
- Ecological footprint calculator
- Kill A Watt meters
- Solar cars
- Rain garden installation
- Community garden creation
- Repurposing craft activities
- Tree planting
All of our sites offer a variety of educational activities. Be sure to talk to them about their specialties and the particular services they offer.
Contact your local Green Iowa AmeriCorps site to schedule an educational event or outreach activity!