Eagle County will help insulate your home | VailDaily.com

Eagle County will help insulate your home

Matt Terrell
Eagle County, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” With $1,000 worth of insulation, Matt Scherr cut his gas bill in half two years ago, and is now saving big money on energy in Eagle County, Colorado.

You can see those big savings as well, especially if you take advantage of an insulation rebate being offered through December by the county, said Scherr, director of the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability.

Eagle County and the Governor’s Energy Office are offering 50 percent rebates ” up to $500 ” to insulate your home.

About 44 percent of the energy used in the average American home goes to heating and cooling, according to the Department of Energy. Insulating an uninsulated attic can cut those fuel bills by 30 percent.

After Scherr insulated his home and threw in other cheap upgrades like weather stripping on doors and windows, which helps keep the house tight and toasty, he immediately saw a 50 percent drop in his gas bill. It took just two years to pay back the investment.

“We paid just over $1,000, and now we’re saving 42 bucks a month in gas. After two years, that 42 bucks is free,” Scherr said.

Before putting up big money solar panels, Scherr recommends focusing on the smaller home upgrades that can actually reduce the amount of energy a home uses.

Local funding for the program comes from fees paid into Eagle County’s Eco-Build Fund, which can only be used for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Eagle County.

The department of energy recommends putting at least R-50 insulation in your ceiling, especially in mountain climates. The insulation not only prevents heat from escaping your home in the winter, but it also helps keep the roof cold, allowing snow to accumulate and reducing the potential for ice dams, said Adam Palmer, Eagle County’s sustainability coordinator.

“While you want to make sure snow doesn’t pile up too high to threaten your home’s structural integrity, a foot of snow on your roof actually gives you an additional R-12 insulation blanket,” Palmer said.

There are still quite a few older homes in Eagle County without good insulation, Palmer said. He suggests focusing on putting insulation in roofs as opposed to walls.

“Unless you’re already doing a remodel, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to rip out all your walls for insulation,” Palmer said.

The 50 percent insulation rebate applies to homeowners in towns as well as unincorporated areas of Eagle County.

To be eligible for the rebate, the work must be done by a registered insulation contractor. Here’s an abbreviated list of local contractors enrolled in the program:

– Biobond: 970-390-8082

– Insulsmart: 970-453-4100

– Insulvail: 970-524-3000

-K-Guarantee: 970-328-1648

Rebate applications can be found at http://www.eaglecounty.us/commDev/ecobuild.cfm; or for a complete list of contractors, go to http://www.colorado.gov/energy/.

Applications and invoices for insulation work must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2008

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 970-748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.


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