Local groups tout free and low-cost weatherization programs for homeowners


Last month, representatives from three area nonprofits came to Pagosa Housing Partners’ Community Talk to discuss free to low-cost programs that help residents weatherize their home.
The panel included:
• Molly Morris, program manger for 4CORE.
• Marcy Child, weatherization program director for Housing Resources of Western Colorado (HRWC).
• Lori Hendricksen, executive director for Habitat for Humanity Archuleta County.
Each panel member outlined free and low-cost programs their organizations offer, which include:
• 4CORE offers a free home energy audit, installation of energy efficiency upgrades through its CARE program, which stands for Colorado Affordable Residential Energy Program. This program is available for area residents that are at or below 80 percent of the area median income.
• 4CORE also offers (with no income requirements) affordable energy audits, energy efficiency coaching and can coordinate low-cost financing options for energy upgrades through its EnergySmart program.
• HRWC, in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office, offers energy audits, insulation, furnace replacement, refrigerator replacement, air leak sealing and other services through their weatherization program. There are income requirements to qualify for the program.
• Habitat for Humanity Archuleta County offers options for families to construct a new home and qualify for a mortgage. Habitat Archuleta also has a “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program which coordinates repairs for local homeowners.
Hendricksen explained some examples of repairs include fixing a rotten floor, replacing a broken water heater or doing cosmetic upgrades on the exterior of homes.
Hendricksen also noted the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program relies heavily on volunteers and urged the public to volunteer with the program.
Vickerstaff asked the panel what the most common energy efficiency issues were that the organizations had seen around the region.
“In our program, insulation and air sealing is the most cost-effective thing you can do in a home,” Child said.
Morris explained that ensuring that a home is air-sealed from the environment is generally an efficient first step in reducing energy costs.
More information about these programs can be found at the following websites:
• 4CORE, fourcore.org
• HRWC, hrwco.org
• Habitat for Humanity Archuleta County, habitatarchuleta.org