June 2, 2024

The Environmental Center offers free energy audits


BEND, Ore. — The Environmental Center of Bend is now offering free home energy assessments to qualifying families, “to provide people who have historically been underserved by energy programs with free information and assessments of their homes and a way to connect them to low- or no-cost upgrades,” said Lindsay Hardy, Climate Solutions Program Director. She told KBND News that the service is available to “anyone who is eligible for a free audit and increased incentives, including low- to moderate-income individuals, people with disabilities, people of color and rural residents.”

“We walk through the home with the homeowner or tenant and highlight any problem areas, areas that they feel are uncomfortable in the home, and if they have a heating or cooling system, we look at the hot water and insulation,” Hardy says. He adds, “We provide them with a customized report based on the current setup of the home and where we think they could make improvements, as well as all the incentives they are eligible for, including the uppayment incentives they can get through our program.”

She noted the growing importance of energy conservation and efficiency, saying, “A lot of change is happening here in Central Oregon, especially with the increase in summer heat and wildfires, and people who don’t currently have access to efficient heating, cooling and air conditioning are facing more health and comfort issues.”

The Bend-based program is modeled after a concept developed by a Corvallis nonprofit. Assessors don’t provide the Home Energy Score that the city of Bend requires when selling a home. But Hardy says the new program complements the more comprehensive report. “If someone has a Home Energy Score and they have a list of improvements that they really need in their home, we can step in and introduce them to the appropriate incentives and help them qualify for the increased incentives that are available through the program.”

The Environmental Center is hosting two events to provide information about the program. The first event will be held on Thursday, May 30th from 1-2pm and is targeted at community organizations and elected officials who want to learn more about how the program can benefit their communities and constituents and how to access outreach tools. Register here. The second event will be held on Wednesday, June 5th from 5:30-6:30pm and is open to the public to join and learn more about participating in the program. Register here.

If you are interested in finding out if you qualify for the program or to enroll, please visit the Environmental Center’s website.


Source link