Weatherization pays off big
After so many recent articles about weatherization, I decided to share my experience with weatherizing our home and being part of a committee helping others in town learn more about it. Mount Holly was part of the NeighborWorks of Western Vermont Rutland County contest and won the most homes to complete category. Below are the statistics for the 32 completed homes:
— These homes combined are saving 13,550 gallons of fuel per year.
— At $3.80 per gallon of fuel that equals $51,490 per year on fuel costs saved.
— 8,616 kilowatt-hours per year (or, at 14 cents per kilowatt hour, $1,206) saved.
— 110,377 pounds of carbon dioxide saved.
We used part of the $10,000 prize money to weatherize our town office with air sealing, insulating the basement and attic for an air leakage reduction of 36.6 percent and a programmable thermostat to cut fuel use at night. So far it is estimated there will be $1,17.81 annual savings, and that doesn’t include lowering the heat at night.
Several years ago at our home, we added a passive solar room and solar panel for hot water. After weatherizing through the NeighborWorks program last year, we had an air leakage reduction of 47.5 percent . We have always used wood and with the solar, and closing off one room, we have only had to use oil about five times in one year, usually when nights are well below zero. Another benefit is that our home doesn’t have all the cold drafts we had before.
In our state, we are very fortunate to have a congressional delegation, state government and environmentalists supporting weatherization programs. I hope that Vermont can be a leader in the country showing that we can all work together to cut our heating expense, reliance on foreign oil and enjoy warmer homes.