The Gunnison Valley can be one of the coldest places in the nation. Average winter temperatures in December, January, and February don’t reach above freezing, and average lows are below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Every year, some families struggle to keep their homes warm enough. Heat leaks through old or non-existent insulation and poor sealing around windows and doorways, and older furnaces struggle to keep up with falling temperatures. Sometimes, it only takes a broken furnace for a family to be in a dire, or even life-threatening, situation.
Repair and upgrades for these important weatherization systems can be costly. For this reason, Energy Outreach Colorado’s CARE (EOC CARE) program, the Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority (GVRHA), and the Energy Resource Center (ERC) Alamosa team spent the last year working to update and upgrade homes to protect from winter’s worst.
Most recently, three ERC teams spent a week working on insulation installation, furnace repairs, and storm window installations. In addition, efficiency and safety upgrades like refrigerator replacements, efficient light bulb upgrades, water aerator installations, vapor barriers, and carbon monoxide detector installation were done for the families. All of the work was free to homeowners thanks to the EOC CARE program and was coordinated by GVRHA who identified the families in need of the services.
“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Energy Outreach Colorado and Gunnison Valley Housing to help families in need. Our work is important and these partners allow us to expand our reach,” says David Malouff, Director of Operations for Energy Resource Center’s office in Alamosa.
The recent work was part of a year-long project that has helped a total of 41 households. The families that were part of this effort will be protected this winter and should see a sharp decrease in their energy bills thanks to the additional upgrades to improve energy efficiency.