Community Power Works (CPW), the City of Seattle’s home energy upgrade program, launched last April with the goals of simultaneously driving demand to weatherize 2,000 homes, and creating a sustainable industry for home energy upgrades. After a successful start in Seattle’s central area and southend, CPW expanded its services citywide in January. To date, over 900 homes have entered the program, and demand continues to grow as homeowners spread the word about the increased warmth and comfort of their newly upgraded homes.
CPW gives homeowners access to approved experts in home energy auditing and contracting to help them make the smartest choices for their homes. CPW also provides financing, rebates and incentives to help offset project costs, as well as a free quality assurance inspection once the work is complete.
Joshua Curtis, manager for the program, recently told us, “We are really inspired by the reactions of our current customers and the momentum building for the program. It’s great to see how energy upgrades align with peoples’ values, and so positively impact the quality of their lives. It’s exciting to now be able to offer the program to all of Seattle’s homeowners.”
Currently, homeowners can choose from 15 CPW partner contractors, all of whom are passionate about building science. Each of CPW’s energy experts focuses on finding the best energy efficiency solutions for homes and homeowners to improve their health and comfort, and to help reduce Seattle’s overall carbon footprint. And the pool of experts is expanding to meet demand. Several new partners are expected to join the ranks by late spring 2012.
Most inspiring are the stories from homeowners who have experienced improvements in their lives as a result of their energy upgrades as well as some unexpected benefits. The program begins with a comprehensive energy audit, helping homeowners learn more about their home. Allyson Adley of Madison Park said, “When we learned that 86 percent of the warm air in our house was escaping each hour and being replaced with cold air from outside, we were shocked. That provided us with the motivation to act.”
Along with insulating and sealing cracks where heat was escaping, the Adleys installed a heat pump to replace an inefficient oil burner. Adley said, “I cannot get over how much value we’ve added to the house with the CPW upgrade. We feel good that we are not buying oil any more, and it’s a relief not to have to open that bill. In addition to making the house more comfortable,” she added, “the weatherization work had the extra benefit of keeping critters out of our attic and crawl space.”
One customer on Beacon Hill said, “This is the kind of work that I can’t do myself right now. Having professionals available to do the work at a price that makes sense really fit my needs. The program worked out perfectly for me.” For him, the upgrade had the added benefit of decreasing the impact of living under a heavy flight path. “The new insulation in the attic has really helped to muffle the sound, even before we put in the new windows,” he said.
The CPW program is geared up to serve homeowners from all Seattle neighborhoods in 2012. “We are looking forward to a great year serving people throughout the Seattle community, increasing the quality of their home-lives, saving energy, and putting people to work at the same time,” said Curtis.
To sign up for the program, click here: https://my.communitypowerworks.org/apply/.
For more information, contact (206) 449-1170 or firstname.lastname@example.org.