Veterans Green Jobs Offers Free Home Weatherization Services to Income-Qualified Households in Denver/Jefferson County and the San Luis Valley
Oct. 19, 2011, DENVER, Colo. – Veterans Green Jobs, a national nonprofit that puts military veterans back to work in the green jobs economy, is promoting its free weatherization services to income-qualified Denver, Jefferson County and San Luis Valley households. October is National Energy Awareness Month and the October 30 is Weatherization Day.
Veterans Green Jobs has a contract with the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) to weatherize 1,397 income-qualified homes between July 2011 and June 2012. Since 2009, the organization has provided energy efficiency services to an average of 1,200 homes per year. Energy efficiency upgrades include energy audits, insulation, appliance repair and replacement, and air-leak sealing. These services help residents save on their utility bills while increasing comfort and safety year-round.
“Weatherization is as important to our homes as wearing a jacket in the wintertime. However, some people may not realize that it also keeps our homes cooler in the summer. This month is a reminder that we can all do more to prepare our homes for weather of all seasons,” said Dr. Bill Doe, CEO of Veterans Green Jobs. “Thanks to funding from the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, we provide these critical services at no cost to income-qualified households – and the costs saved on utility bills can be spent on other important items such as food and clothing.”
Veterans Green Jobs’ weatherization services give hope for a more comfortable winter to residents like Renee Shirley. “In the winter, we usually keep the cold out by stapling Army blankets to the walls and putting plastic on the windows. We’ll be warmer this year, thanks to these services. I’m hoping our bills will go down by at least $100 a month,” she says.
“The Weatherization Assistance Program partnership with Veterans Green Jobs in Denver and Jefferson County has been very successful in providing the eligible Coloradans with much need energy efficiency services that enable residents to reduce their energy consumption and lower their monthly energy bills, make their homes safer and more comfortable,” said Doug Karl, the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) weatherization director. The GEO manages weatherization programs that provide no-cost services to income eligible households throughout all 64 counties of Colorado with over 7,000 housing retrofits completed in the past year.
The average homeowner in the U.S. pays about $2,000 a year for energy. Weatherization can save an average of $437 annually in heating and cooling costs (source: U.S. Energy Information Administration).
In June, Veterans Green Jobs successfully fulfilled its contract period with the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office to weatherize income-qualifying homes in Denver and Jefferson counties and the San Luis Valley. About 1,630 households were weatherized under the July 2010-June 2011contract funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The successful program continues uninterrupted under a new contract which began July 1.
How to Qualify
Residents who are already receiving financial assistance under other programs may qualify for free weatherization upgrades. Those programs include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and Supplemental Security Income. Eligibility can also be determined by household income, including households making up to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Priority service may also be given to persons who are considered elderly, disabled, low-income or single parents, as well as clients whose homes are considered to bear high energy costs or a high energy burden. To learn more, households in Denver, Jefferson County and the San Luis Valley are asked to visit http://veteransgreenjobs.org/weatherization-programs . Income qualifying residents in other Colorado counties are also eligible to receive weatherization services. Visit www.rechargecolorado.com to learn about income-qualified weatherization and other energy-saving programs and incentives.
About Veterans Green Jobs
Veterans Green Jobs is a national nonprofit whose mission is to engage, transition and connect military veterans with meaningful employment opportunities that serve our communities and environment. Under a contract with the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, Veterans Green Jobs weatherizes income-qualified homes in Denver, Jefferson County and the San Luis Valley. In partnership with conservation corps and land management agencies, the nonprofit helps veterans get skills and training in outdoor conservation and natural resource management. It is currently creating an outreach, recruitment and placement program that will connect veterans with green industry employers and certified training programs. The nonprofit’s Go Green Warehouse is a discount home improvement materials store whose sales proceeds support job and training programs for military veterans. See www.veteransgreenjobs.org for more information.