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Florida Residents See Energy Bill Reductions

January 27, 2010 - 3:42pm

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Indiantown, Florida, has a lot of small-town charm.  Its 7,000 residents have acres of citrus groves but only one traffic light in the town. It might be small in size, but Indiantown Non-Profit Housing is making quite an impact across its region. This nonprofit weatherizes the homes of qualifying residents free of charge, and demand for its services is on the rise.

“One of the best outcomes is that we can hire additional employees” says Director Donna Carman, referring to the $5.2 million in Recovery Act funds Indiantown Non-Profit Housing has received. The staff has more than doubled from five to 16, meaning that Floridians like 72-year-old Edith Gastright can have their homes weatherized, saving significantly on energy costs.

Edith lives in a 100-year-old house in Stewart, Florida, with a lot of windows and doors.  The architecture is quite nice, but the cold air it lets in meant sleeping under several quilts and never, ever walking on the wood floors barefoot.  Edith’s children were starting to get concerned, wouldn’t it be better for her to move to a nice condo or mobile home rather than struggle to keep the house in good repair? 

Edith’s dilemma was solved when a team of nine weatherization technicians came into her home to upgrade the entire place, “They made it possible for me to stay in my home, it is so incredible,” Edith says. Upgrades such as solar screening on all the windows, insulation under the floors, a new water heater and a smaller refrigerator made a significant impact. “It’s like a whole new house”

On average Indiantown says homeowners save 35 percent on their home energy bill. Edith confirms that hers was cut in half, “I almost think they’ve made a mistake.”

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