Today, HACAP is celebrating National Energy Assistance Day by sharing one client's journey with weatherization, and its role in creating a warm home for Heidi this winter.
Heidi moved to Iowa in 2006 from Massachusetts with a dream to rehab an old home. When she saw a house in Iowa County at an estate sale, she knew it was perfect. However, while old homes come with many features to be desired and a charm that makes you feel good just being inside, there is one feature that sets many homeowners back - utility bills.
Keeping warm in an old house can also be a tricky business. Over the years, Heidi struggled to keep up with the high cost of her utility bills, even when the thermostat was kept at the lowest possible temperature. Every month, she found herself struggling to pay the bills, leaving little money left to enjoy life. But, knowing she needed funds to help fix up her old home like she dreamed of, she sought help to reduce the costs of heating the home. To stay warm and help combat the rising utility bill costs, Heidi applied for Weatherization through HACAP. This program allows individuals and families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient.
When Heidi received the notification that her application was approved, she was ecstatic and ready for the change. Following the approval, the team at HACAP jumped right in to help. Like any project, the weatherization crew started by getting to know the ins and outs of her house before the real work began. They realized that the entire home needed insulation following the inspection, just as many old homes do. To start, the water heater was replaced, and an old water issue was resolved; insulation was added to the minimally insulated attic, walls, and floors, and a new thermostat was added.
Heidi spoke highly of the entire crew and the weatherization process. "The work crew was the best part about the program." She often mentioned that the team didn't just work on her home, but they took the time to know her - her personality, preferences, and infinity for wildlife and animals. "They were able to make judgment calls when I wasn't home, completely in line with what I would have done ."
While home insulation can be tedious work, she applauded the crew for their energy, kindness, humor, knowledge, and hard-working attitude.
With the help of the weatherization crew, she went from seeing her breathe in the winter and astronomical bills to a cozy and warm home at half the cost. " I don't feel so pressured, and my money is going where it needs to go, not out the window." The reduction of the expenses has also freed Heidi up to get back to what she loves, fixing the house.
" I highly recommend that anyone, if they even think that they can qualify, apply for the Liheap Program. The monetary savings you will experience is incredible, and your home's energy efficiency will just be so much better. It would have taken me years and a lot of money to do what they did in a month and a half working full time. Also, it was amazing to have a crew. Otherwise, I would be doing it alone. Now I am years ahead of the game."