Home energy efficiency upgrades available now | VailDaily.com

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Home energy efficiency upgrades available now

AVON — The Energy Smart Colorado program at Walking Mountains Science Center will provide home energy visits and free energy efficiency upgrades to income-qualified households in Eagle County. You can call 970-328-8777 or visit http://www.energysmartcolorado.com to learn more and apply for the program.

"This program is for households with incomes that are just a bit too high to qualify for the region's other free weatherization programs such as LEAP," said John-Ryan Lockman, Energy Programs Manager at Walking Mountains.

Depending on the needs of the home, energy upgrades could include a furnace or boiler tune-up and safety check, insulation and air sealing, high-efficiency refrigerator, high-efficiency water heater, LED light bulbs, programmable thermostat and low-flow shower heads.

"Households won't have to pay for any of these improvements if the energy coaches think they need to be upgraded or replaced," Lockman said.

“These energy efficiency upgrades mean these families are going to save on their utility costs, and that will trickle down to decisions about what foods they can afford.”Luke IldertonDirector of energy efficiency, Energy Outreach Colorado

Walking Mountains' energy coaches are ready to hear from you. Anyone interested in this new program should call 970-328-8777 or visit energysmartcolorado.com to learn more and apply for the program. The energy coaches will also begin to contact households in neighborhoods from Vail to Dotsero in the coming weeks to schedule home visits.

"Our team of certified energy coaches will visit the home, spending about an hour evaluating the home for the most needed energy efficiency upgrades. After the visit, the energy coaches will coordinate with local contractors to carry out the upgrades," Lockman said.

About CARE

Funding for this new program is provided through a new initiative called Colorado's Affordable Residential Energy program. Energy Outreach Colorado is partnering with regional energy resource centers, such as Walking Mountains, and utilities to launch CARE in counties including Summit, Lake, Eagle, Pitkin, Garfield, San Miguel and Routt. CARE leverages utility funding and local resources in order to provide energy efficiency services to individuals who qualify. Utility partners for the program include Holy Cross Energy, SourceGas and Xcel Energy

Energy Outreach Colorado, the statewide nonprofit that helps low-income families and seniors pay energy bills, will handle the paperwork to make sure households qualify.

"These energy efficiency upgrades mean these families and seniors are going to save on their utility costs, and that will trickle down to decisions about what food and medications they can afford," said Luke Ilderton, director of energy efficiency programs for Energy Outreach Colorado.

"The upgrades will also make their home healthier and safer, giving them a more comfortable living environment, he added. Because the Eagle County program will leverage funding from energy utilities, it can help many more families," Ilderton said.

In Pitkin and Garfield Counties, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency and CLEER offer a similar program to help income-qualified residents.

If you or someone you know could be eligible, then contact The Energy Smart Colorado program at Walking Mountains Science Center. For more information, call 97-328-8777 or email eagle@energysmart colorado.com.