“The changes will make a heck of a difference.” – Dennis Goodson
Dennis Goodson is a do-it-yourself kind of guy who’s always worked hard for a living. A blacksmith by trade, he’s used to taking on all sorts of tough projects. So when he decided to take advantage of Veterans Green Jobs’ free services to improve his home, he found it a little awkward. “I felt guilty about other guys working on my house,” he chuckles.
Dennis was prompted to research weatherization and energy efficiency services through newspaper and television ads. He called the Low-income Energy Assistance Program, which referred him to Veterans Green Jobs’ program providing free energy efficiency, health and safety upgrades to income-qualifying households. But taking the free services was not easy for Dennis. “I’ve always paid my taxes. I’ve never been on government assistance in my whole life. This is the first time ever.” Despite the effort it took to make the phone call, Dennis now says it was worth it.
Dennis’s 1941 wood-frame house has always been too cold in winter and hot in summer. Lacking insulation and even a back door (he had hung a curtain where the door was supposed to be), he hung blankets on windows in the bedrooms and kept a wood-burning stove to heat the house. “I took the stove out when the grandkids came. It wasn’t safe.”
Now, his home is much more comfortable. Veterans Green Jobs crew members installed a back door, sealed windows or mounted panes of plexiglass on casement windows, installed insulation in the walls, attic and crawlspace, put in an energy efficient furnace and refrigerator, and mounted smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
“I had no idea what I would do if they had said it couldn’t be done. I was really surprised at all the things they did,” Dennis says. “These changes will make a heck of a difference.”
Dennis has already noticed improvements: the home’s temperature is more manageable and the insulation has created a sound barrier against I-70, which is a stone’s throw away from the house.
Dennis welcomes the quiet interior even more now that he’ll be working from home; he is moving his blacksmith shop into his garage. A developer is scraping the property where his current shop sits – where for more than 30 years he’s forged everything from motorcycles and motorcycle parts to massive iron driveway gates, furniture and casino décor. Because he’ll be looking for a way to supplement his income soon, Veterans Green Jobs’ free services came at a good time for Dennis financially. “I would not have been able to afford it. I very much appreciate what they did.”
Veterans Green Jobs provides comprehensive home performance services to income-qualified homes with funding from the Colorado Energy Office, the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships and Xcel Energy, and with the collaboration of the Denver Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. These services make homes greener, healthier and safer while reducing the burden of high energy costs.