“This service protects the home I’m living in, and the owner’s investment.” – Patricia Brandon, Wheat Ridge
When Patricia Brandon heard about Veterans Green Jobs’ free weatherization services, she contacted the landlord of her duplex and convinced him to apply.
“I encouraged him to take advantage of the program for the betterment of the property,” she says. “Protecting your investment is just a really good thing to do.”
Even though Patricia doesn’t own the home, she feels a responsibility to take care of it by making improvements to its heating systems. In doing so, she says she is also doing her part to protect the environment. “People have an obligation and responsibility to be environmentally mindful and compliant.”
Veterans Green Jobs assessed the furnace in the Section 8 house, and found that it was in good working shape. The crew only needed to replace the furnace filters and do some routine maintenance – in addition to insulating the home’s crawlspace and attic, wrapping the furnace with blanket insulation to keep the mold and moisture out, providing CFL lightbulbs, and checking the hot water heater and combustion air. The team also recommended that Patricia install ceiling fans to keep the air circulating.
The Veterans Green Jobs crew chief explained every task that was completed in the home, and Patricia took copious notes to share with her landlord. “The supervisor really discussed things with me, and told me, nicely and patiently, what the crew had done. He was very polite. I felt very good about the services.”
Patricia acknowledges the hard work that goes into weatherization, and appreciates the retrofitting required to get the job done in an older home. “Until we get better about our architecture and the way we build, weatherizing is our best bet for keeping our homes safe and protecting our investments. It helps you save money and economize,” says Patricia, who has lived in Colorado for 50 years.
At age 66, Patricia is raising her five-year-old grandchild and works part-time.
She is looking forward to lower utility bills. “This service is good for people like us who have trouble meeting the utility bills, which are $100 per month or more. And it will make the home warmer, nicer, more comfortable.”
Patricia says the people who need these services the most can now afford them. But, she feels the program is not just about the free offerings: more awareness needs to be generated about this beneficial public service that has been available nationally since the 1970s.
She urges people in her community to spread the word and ask these questions of their friends and neighbors: “Did you know this exists? Do you know that you could qualify? Do you know about the benefits?”
Veterans Green Jobs provides comprehensive home performance services to income qualified homes with funding from the Colorado Energy Office, Xcel Energy and the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. These services make homes greener, healthier and safer while reducing the burden of high energy costs.