Updated Fri, Jun 1, 2012 9:11 am
A free program that aims to help Athens County homeowners save energy and reduce costs launched in Athens on Thursday.
The Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development is providing more than 150 free energy home assessments to Athens County residents. The assessments include suggestions for basic energy improvements, and auditors can troubleshoot potentially dangerous problems.
Mary Ann Bennick, an Athens County homeowner, says it didn't take much to convince her to get a home audit.
"If it saves you money and it makes your home more comfortable to live in, then do it," she said.
The home auditors primarily target basic fixes like water usage, lightbulbs and doorways, but can also provide homeowners with information about utility rebate programs and access to low-interest financing through the Ohio University Credit Union.
Bennick's auditor, Dustin Bolin, recommended that she make the switch to energy saving household items that won't break the bank. This includes purchasing a new shower head and low wattage lightbulbs.
"We'll also be pointing out some health and safety issues along with, if they do decide to seal up their home. If they have a bad furnace or something like that, it can be very dangerous for the homeowner," said Bolin.
Bennick said she thinks the home assessment was well worth the inconvenience of opening up her home to a stranger.
"If they have an issue with someone coming into their home and finding something then that's up to them, but don't get me wrong its helpful," she said.
The Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development says it may open up the program to people from other areas in the region if the pilot project is successful.