Our Weatherization Team is just finishing up a job for Jason and Mike—two wonderful clients who are enjoying a new, safe and reliable heat source and whose home has been sealed up tight so all that lovely heat isn’t escaping. “I would say the weatherization was beyond successful,” said Jason, “It made a huge difference, the house is much more comfortable, and we don’t have to bundle up all the time.”
Last year Jason and Mike needed a new heater—bad! Their main heat source was a terribly unsafe wood stove with cracked glass that was difficult to use and dangerous to their health. Our Energy Crisis Intervention Program can often help when a client’s only heat source is unsafe or unusable—but repairing their current heat source wasn’t medically advisable. The home had a propane forced air unit, but the tank had been removed. They had a kerosene tank, but the monitor had been removed and even if we put one in, the fuel tank was empty! We had already assisted them with their power bill that year, so we could not provide them with fuel. Everything about the situation was falling outside of state program guidelines.
GNS Weatherization Program Assistant Manager Zach McCrillis worked with the California Department of Community Services and Development to come up with an acceptable solution—we would put in a monitor, the Salvation Army would help them with a small fuel subsidy, and they would come up with the rest of what it would cost to fill the tank. Zach finally received a waiver from the state for the unusual circumstances and we installed a new monitor for them—just in time for winter.
After that crisis situation was resolved, their application for weatherization had to wait until we had the correct type of funding available. This spring we were able to assess the home and our weatherization crew installed seven new windows, sealed off the abandoned forced air unit, and made other minor improvements to make the home less drafty and more energy efficient. Jason was very enthusiastic about the changes. “We were putting out way too much money in the winter to stay warm,” he said, “We just couldn’t catch up on bills. Now we won’t have to request energy assistance every year!”
Our staff works hard to find the best ways to help clients—finding the right solution, in this case, meant a little bit of negotiation, a little extra coordination, and some patience. But being able to make sure clients have safe, efficient, and affordable homes is worth the extra effort.
Learn more about our Weatherization Program