“It would have taken me years to do what they’ve done. I wish everybody could do it.” – Shirley, Denver resident
For five years, Shirley has been taking steps to make her 1953 home more energy efficient – installing upgrades one time per year as she could afford it. From bigger expense items like insulating the attic and crawlspace, to simpler measures such as keeping window blinds down in summer, she felt she was doing her part. But she couldn’t pay for it all; sealing the windows and installing high-efficiency appliances were simply out of the question.
Shirley heard about Veterans Green Jobs’ free weatherization services through a Denver television news program, and then read about them in the newspaper. She knew immediately that she should take advantage of the services – predicting they would save her money and make her more healthy and safe.
“I’m not able to work full time or get a good paying job due to a traumatic brain injury. I have had to ask for help in paying my high heating and cooling bills,” she says.
Shirley’s winter heating bills have often exceeded $500 per month, and because she keeps the air conditioning on all the time in summer due to her poor health, her bills are high year round. Xcel Energy’s budget billing program helps with the payments, but she is not getting any other financial assistance.
Veterans Green Jobs determined that in order to improve the energy efficiency and safety of her home, Shirley should re-insulate the crawlspace, weather- strip the exterior doors and garage, fill leaky gaps in the floors, and install a high-efficiency refrigerator. The auditor ascertained that the windows were in good shape – they didn’t require the costly sealing job a private company told her she would need.
“Veterans Green Jobs auditors made decisions about things I know nothing about – What kind of refrigerator would I need? What kind of insulation should I buy? They made all the tough choices,” she says.
Increased physical comfort and saving money are huge benefits of weatherizing Shirley’s home. However, she concludes that it’s about more than improving her personal situation. “I try really hard to be the kind of person that conserves. Now I get to participate in that. It helps me – but it also helps the planet.”
Now, two months later, she says: “It feels wonderful that they did it all for free. I would not have been able to do it. It would have taken me years to do what they’ve done. I wish everybody could do it.”
Veterans Green Jobs provides comprehensive home performance services to income-qualified homes, with funding from the Colorado Energy Office. These services make homes greener, healthier and safer while reducing the burden of high energy costs. Application for Free Home Performance Services /Solicitud de trabajos de climatización