Community Power Works (CPW), a City of Seattle energy efficiency initiative to weatherize buildings and help grow a sustainable source of green jobs through energy upgrades, is now serving homes throughout the City of Seattle.
The CPW for Home program is one of six programs operated by Community Power Works and funded in part by a grant from the US Department of Energy. The other CPW programs are CPW for Multifamily units, CPW for Small Businesses, CPW for Large Commercial buildings, CPW for Hospitals, and CPW for City Buildings. CPW for Home launched last April in Seattle’s central area and south end, and this January the program has expanded its services citywide. CPW for Home gives homeowners access to approved home energy experts that help them make the smartest choices for their homes. CPW for Home also provides financing, rebates and incentives to help offset costs, as well as a free quality assurance inspection once the work is complete.
To date, more than 900 homes have entered the program and more than 125 homes have completed energy upgrades or have upgrades in progress. Demand for the program has steadily grown as homeowners spread the word about the increased warmth and comfort of their newly upgraded homes.
“We’re working to expand Community Power Works by offering new incentives and citywide availability,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. ”We are committed to building an energy efficiency industry that improves work for people in our community.”
For Seattle residents, CPW for Home provides:
- A deeply discounted home energy assessment. Usually $400, the program provides the assessment for just $95, thanks to rebates from Seattle City Light.
- Rebates and incentives to bring down the cost of the upgrade; the more energy you save, the higher your rebate.
- Pre-approved contractors to do the work.
- Affordable loans with easy terms to qualify; payments are simply added to the resident’s City Light bill.
- Energy Experts to help every step of the way and make sure the job is done right.
The program begins with a comprehensive energy audit, helping homeowners learn more about their home. CPW for Home participant Allyson Adley of Madison Park said, “When we learned that 86 percent of the warm air in our house was escaping each hour and being replaced with cold air from outside, we were shocked. That provided us with the motivation to act.”
Along with insulating their home and sealing cracks where heat was escaping, the Adleys had a heat pump installed to replace an inefficient oil burner. Adley said, “I cannot get over how much value we’ve added to the house with the CPW for Home upgrade. We feel good that we are not buying oil any more, and it’s a relief not to have to open that bill. In addition to making the house more comfortable,” she added, “the weatherization work had the extra benefit of keeping critters out of our attic and crawl space.”
In addition to program rebates based on the amount of energy a homeowner saves, CPW for Home has unveiled a new incentive for homeowners who want to switch from oil heating systems to other highly efficient heat systems like the Adleys did in switching to an electric ductless heat pump. Before Community Power Works, there were no incentives available for those with oil-heated homes who wanted to switch to a different, more efficient heating source.
Participation in Community Power Works for Home is easy. Seattle residents can simply contact an Energy Expert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.449.1170, or sign up online at: www.communitypowerworks.org.