Raleigh, N.C. — A state program is providing qualified North Carolinians with free help to make their homes energy efficient.
Last fall, Lula Joyner took advantage of a statewide Weatherization Assistance Program, part of a federally funded initiative by the U.S. Department of Energy. Crews made her Raleigh home more energy efficient at no cost. They replaced the thermostat, installed air filters and added insulation to the attic and to the crawlspace.
"There was definitely an improvement that we noticed right away after they put in the insulation,” Joyner’s daughter, Pamela Gilyard, said. “It was so much warmer. She didn't have to use the electric heaters downstairs."
This summer, Joyner said her central air conditioning keeps the house cool and comfortable.
She said the improvements have saved her about $380 in energy expenses since last November.
Without government subsidies, the weatherization work done at Joyner's home would have cost her at least a couple thousand dollars, energy auditor Michael Matthews said.
The program targets families with low to moderate incomes. People of any age may apply, but elderly or disabled people and families with children receive priority when funds are limited.
Even renters can take advantage of the program with their landlord's permission.
Right now, the program has a three-month waiting list, but Joyner's daughter said the improvements are worth the wait.
In Wake County, the Weatherization Assistance Program is administered by the Resources for Seniors organization.