Free home energy assessment available to Valley residents

Iris Chinook
IVN contributing writer

Energy Trust of Oregon, in partnership with our local IVCanDO, is now offering free energy audits to qualifying Valley homeowners. Joy Lark, project manager for IVCanDO, said, “This specific program is new to our area but has been around for a little while now and seen success in a handful of other parts of Oregon such as Lake and Klamath counties. Energy Trust has been present in the Illinois Valley with their “Savings Within Reach” program and has also helped small businesses upgrade to high efficiency LED lighting. It was a natural fit for Energy Trust and IVCDO to partner up to increase the reach of this program to serve our rural community!”
Lark continued, “In order to receive a free home energy assessment, which is the first step toward qualification, the client would need to be a customer of a qualifying utility company (Pacific Power specifically in the I.V., or Avista as you get toward Grants Pass). I am the person that would perform the assessment, and it would take 30-60 minutes. Once the assessment is complete, there are certain base amounts that are offered as an incentive towards a qualifying upgrade, but for some upgrades an additional incentive amount may be offered depending on the homeowner’s income level.” At least one “no-cost” project has already been completed.
“The best result of this project would be to see residents of the Illinois Valley receiving aid to live more comfortably and lower their financial energy burden. We live in an area where houses are not always equipped to handle the temperature variations that we experience, and the smoke that we’ve been experiencing lately reminds us that in addition to a quality of life aspect, there is also a health aspect to ensure that residents are able to keep their homes at a comfortable temperature without letting smoke inside. Additionally, many homes are equipped with outdated or inefficient heating sources, which can be burdensome to the low-income residents we are serving through this program. Every time an upgrade is completed in a home is a success to me,” said Lark.
Other solutions to high utility bills that Energy Trust can help with include planning for a newly built home, helping with the replacement of your pre-1995 manufactured home, support and opportunities to add alternative energy to your home and rental properties and other services. To learn more about how Energy Trust of Oregon can help you with high energy costs and increase the comfort level of your home, check out their website. There is even help for people who rent their homes.
“I really want to stress that this isn’t an out of reach program – we only just kicked off our partnership with Energy Trust about three months ago and have already completed projects, and we have more in the works,” said Lark. Get started by contacting her at 541-415-1519 or joy@ivcdo.org.