Bright Box Program Offers No-Contact Energy and Carbon Savings
by Jessica Hegdahl, Audit Coordinator
There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and when it will be safe for the Winneshiek Energy District to resume in-home energy assessments. So we got creative! We are excited to share that Decorah’s Green Iowa AmeriCorps team is pioneering a no-contact home energy reduction program called Bright Box.
Our full home energy assessment includes a combination of combustion appliance safety testing, insulation analysis, a blower door test to determine air leakage, and direct installation (replacing light bulbs and aerators with higher-efficiency models). Most of this is work that we cannot do remotely, since we have to be on location to inspect the elements of each home.
Fortunately, replacing light bulb makes a big impact and is something that we can help with remotely! The bulk of every client’s estimated yearly savings and carbon footprint reduction come from simply replacing old incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. Troy Downey, Logistics Coordinator, has developed a simple process that allows us to help each homeowner quantify the number of light bulbs they need to replace. He then boxes up the light bulbs along with information about financial assistance for home utility costs and home improvement grants. We then drop the box off on each client’s doorstep—it’s that simple! We are also able to pick up a client’s old CFL bulbs at the time of drop-off and ensure that they are safely recycled.
Income guidelines for free services remain the same for Bright Box as for our in-person home energy assessments. Once we are able to resume in-home appointments, clients who have participated in Bright Box will be able to sign up for the in-person audit services.
According to Troy, “Bright Box has been a really great way to continue to help the people in our community and stay true to our values of energy efficiency and saving our neighbors money.” Now that is a bright idea!