What began as an inspiring idea continues to evolve this month as we launch another Energy Efficiency Makeover (EEMO) contest. This year marks our ninth consecutive EEMO program in which we transform uncomfortable homes with higher-than-normal electric bills into energy-efficient showcases.
The application process for EEMO 2016 begins May 1. However, many behind-the-scenes preparations began in the fall of 2015. A contest of this magnitude and its fulfillment require immense coordination, relationship building, as well as a dedicated and passionate team of folks who enjoy helping and teaching others.
Our EEMO team comprises electric cooperative employees, numerous statewide contractors, vendors, a contractor management entity and numerous local media outlets. We are grateful for all those who help us share the energy efficiency message. It’s a rewarding opportunity to serve those who own the cooperative — you, the co-op member!
Since 2008, we’ve retrofitted 24 homes ranging in age from 20 to 100 years. Each project has been demonstrated through a multimedia approach designed to share basic building science, lessons learned, do-it-yourself solutions and the right questions to ask when hiring contractors. We do this to provide learning resources that help you manage your electric bills and make your homes more comfortable.
This year’s EEMO application process will continue through July 15. For your convenience, applications are available in this month’s Arkansas Living and will also be inserted in the June and July editions of the magazine. An electronic application is available online at www.smartenergytips.org.
As we did last year, we’ll be choosing 17 winners, which means one winning household will represent each local electric cooperative. Each winner will receive up to $5,000 worth of energy efficiency improvements that include an air-sealing package, additional attic insulation, lighting retrofit and a heating and cooling system tune-up. Ductwork will also be inspected and repaired if necessary. Winners also receive a comprehensive energy audit that includes diagnostic blower-door and duct-blaster tests. Once the makeover project begins, we’ll be posting daily educational videos and photos at www.smartenergytips.org and www.facebook.com/smartenergytips.org.
If your home is uncomfortably hot in the summer, cold in the winter and the electric bill surpasses your expectation, we want your application. Whether you choose the printed or online application, be sure to provide all of the required entrant’s information and details about your home. Also, a photo of your home’s exterior is required, along with your signature in two places on the application.
A common theme among all of our previous winners is they didn’t think they would win. So remember, you can’t win if you don’t enter. Also, read the fine print, fill in every blank, take a picture of the entire front of your home, sign the form in both places, then click send or mail to the address listed on the front of the form.
We know not everyone can win a makeover. But, many of you have joined our previous winners by implementing what you’ve learned from our makeover projects. Proven building science and proper installation of energy efficiency measures and components lead to lower utility bills and a more comfortable home.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any energy efficiency questions. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook at www. facebook.com/smartenergytips.org, as well as listen to our podcasts.
Bret Curry is the residential energy marketing manager for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC).