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Newark Neighbors Saving Energy

April 2, 2010 - 2:32pm


Rosa and Francisco Sanchez are ecstatic about the weatherization work done to their Newark, N.J., home. When Francisco explains the changes they have seen, his smile beams from ear to ear.

“They replaced my boiler, put in some new CFL light bulbs and gave me some carbon monoxide detectors,” he says. “I was happy when I got approved after filling out the application for weatherization and even happier about the work they did for me — I appreciate it a lot.”

The Sanchez family was able to take advantage of both the Weatherization Assistance Program and a federally funded heating improvement program ran by La Casa de Don Pedro, a community action agency that is expected to weatherize 650 homes under the Recovery Act.

“It’s so much better now, I used a lot less energy all winter than before and everything’s working perfectly now,” Francisco says. “I hope more people [weatherize their homes].”

Francisco and his wife live next door to Ramon Vega, who also had his home weatherized.

“It is much more comfortable now since they put in insulation and a new boiler — I’m talking about $400 each month in total savings on my energy bills,” Ramon says.

Ramon and Francisco say sometimes their other neighbors don’t believe how much money they are saving since making their homes more energy-efficient.

“I’m disabled now, and I don’t have the same paycheck as when I could work,” Francisco says. “I couldn’t have afforded to fix everything, and I am so glad that someone helped me through the problems I had with the energy efficiency of my home. People might not believe it’s true how much you can save, but it is.”