Makeover transforms homes

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bret curry

Bret Curry is the residential energy
manager for Arkansas Electric Cooperative
Corporation.

The homes of 17 electric cooperative members will be much more efficient after being transformed as part of our Ninth Annual Energy Efficiency Makeover Contest.  These winning homes had higher-than-normal electric bills and undesirable comfort issues. Each of the 17 winning households is receiving a $5,000 retrofit package that includes solutions designed to put a dent in their high bills and provide newfound comfort.

Our format was similar to last year: one winner was chosen per cooperative. Each home gave the makeover teams a wonderful challenge to demonstrate their professional expertise as a teaching format for you, our members. I hope you will watch the educational videos and read the information posted on our website and Facebook page. Many of the components and measures we exhibit are do-it-yourself projects. However, for those who prefer to choose a professional retrofit vendor, our resources will assist you with fact-based information to help select a contractor for your energy efficiency projects.

Here’s an interesting fact:  Of all the 17 winning applications, three were completed by men and 14 by women. All were concerned about their electric bills and uncomfortable homes. They were desperate to find a solution. We understand not everyone can win the contest, yet everyone wins when they implement proven energy efficiency components and measures. Furthermore, I want to thank everyone who submitted an application this year. I also want to thank our winners who allowed us to utilize their homes as a teaching resource and trusted our teams to transform their homes.

SE-bulbs-Sept-16

General Electric LED Bright Stik bulbs will replace inefficient light bulbs in the homes of the Energy Efficiency Makeover Contest winners.

We could not complete a project of this magnitude without the help of our professional energy efficiency partners: General Electric Lighting, EEtility, DK Construction, Energy Efficiency Design & Development, Summit Builders Group, SEAL Energy Solutions, 3e Energy Efficient Environment, and Energy Design Group Enterprises. All of these companies understand building science, and I’m proud to have worked by their side throughout our project. Arkansas is blessed to have their businesses available to those who seek help with energy and comfort solutions.

While many homes are similar in construction and have similar energy problems, all have unique challenges. However, proven building science solutions are available to solve most issues if a contractor can physically access the problem. Our teams located and identified common energy problems with blower door and duct-testing equipment. We also utilized state-of-the-art infrared thermal imaging to visually confirm unwanted air infiltration, missing and inadequate insulation, and moisture issues.

By watching our videos at smartenergytips@aecc.com and www.facebook.com/smartenergytips.org, you may be able to identify some energy problems that relate to your home. If so, solving them one at a time will help lower your energy consumption and improve the comfort of your home.

I’m proud to report that the average annual estimated energy savings per our makeover home is approximately $650! Everyone wins with energy efficiency. To learn more about the 2016 makeover project, see this month’s cover story starting on page 8.

Please feel free to contact me at smartenergytips@aecc.com with any energy efficiency questions. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/smartenergytips.org, visit our website www.smartenergytips.org, as well as listen to our podcasts.

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