Green Iowa AmeriCorps - Direct Install
Winneshiek Energy District is happy to be the host organization for an amazing group of Green Iowa AmeriCorps members. Now in our third year with Green Iowa AmeriCorps, we have members from both near and far who have gathered with the interest of helping our community reduce energy needs through energy efficiency, education and awareness.
The Direct Install program was designed with energy reduction in mind. Our team provides low cost, high return energy-saving services that are made quickly and are capable of substantially reducing your household utility expenses and even increasing home comfort. This program has helped the average resident of Winneshiek County save $140 annually on their utility bills. Perhaps the best part about this program is that we help with the upfront investment by sharing 50% of the cost of your installed items (*up to a maximum Energy District contribution of $100 ). In other words, the light bulb that we buy for $2 will only cost you $1. Crazy, huh? Take time to check out our Oneota Tag Offsets page to learn how we're able to make this possible.
So what's all Included in a Direct Install?
- Blower Door Audit: One of the first things that we'll do when we show up, is test how air tight your home is. The blower door allows us to quantify the amount of air leaking through any gaps, cracks, or openings you may have in your home's envelope. Air leakage causes home heating and cooling systems to work harder than needed, resulting in more energy consumption and higher heating and cooling bills. When our blower door test shows that we may be able to help you reduce the amount of air infiltration into your home, we'll schedule a secondary visit to address any air sealing needs. Addressing all areas of air infiltration through air sealing during this second visit usually takes 2 - 5 hours depending on the level of work needed.
- Installation of efficient light bulbs: An average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Currently, the CFL is the most cost effective option for reducing lighting energy use in your home. The CFLs we install can decrease your lighting energy needs by 50-75% while maintaining high light-quality and visual appeal.
- Installation of efficient aerators and showerheads: Our program has helped the average home owner reduce their annual water usage by over 4,900 gallons, and all without compromising the comfort of anyones shower.
- Insulation on hot and cold pipes: Insulating the first 6 feet of the pipes connected to the water heater reduces heat loss and increases efficiency.
- Program Thermostats Settings: Programmable thermostats are very effective at reducing home energy use when set properly. They can be confusing to set up so many homeowners opt to leave them alone. We can help.
- Vehicle and Bicycle Tire Pressure Check: Proper tire pressure insures efficiency of mobility whether it be via motor or pedal power. According to www.fueleconomy.gov every drop in automobile tire pressure of 1 PSI below the recommended pressure, results in a .3% decrease in fuel economy. Seemingly insignificant, but left unchecked and you’ll be burning dollars as efficiently as you’re burning rubber.
- Air Sealing: The tightening and sealing up of a leaky home is called air sealing. Problem areas often include; windows, floor boards, electrical outlets, rim joists, attic accesses, and doors. There are many practices and procedures that can be employed for air sealing a home. One of the lowest cost and most effective methods is the use of caulk. By using clear caulk to address leaks around many of the problems areas, we can insure a tight seal without any esthetic change.
- Duct Sealing: Leaky duct systems are inefficient systems and inefficiency costs home owners a lot in monthly bills. Taping duct seams creates a much more efficient heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system
So what's this all cost?
Thanks to the support of Green Iowa AmeriCorps, all labor for this service is provided free of charge. Sales of our Oneota Tag local carbon offsets helps us provide a 50% discount on all installed supplies, up to a maximum Energy District contribution of $100 (there is a minimum $25 fee). Total costs vary widely depending on the needs of the home, but typically range from the minimum $25 up to the $100 or a bit more. The average cost to a homeowner is about $40. We will turn away no Winneshiek County household for lack of funds however, so if you genuinely cannot afford the costs outlined here, indicate this on your sign up form and we'll work with you.
*The Green Iowa AmeriCorps Direct Install program is available to all residences in Winneshiek County
Education and Outreach
Beyond providing our Direct Install program, Winneshiek Energy District and Green Iowa AmeriCorps have many upcoming education and outreach opportunities. We are striving to educate all community members; our youth, the young at heart and everyone in between. Through outreach and education we highlight the importance of household and business energy conservation and how our collective change in energy use habits can enhance the entire community. From hosting “do-it-yourself” weatherization workshops to implementing volunteer generated projects we are eager and open to partnering with existing area groups and institutions to spread the word on how simple, fun and effective energy conservation can be. Upcoming Winneshiek Energy District and Green Iowa AmeriCorps education and outreach opportunities can be found on our Events page and will be highlighted in the Events column on the Home Page.