GO GREEN, $AVE GREEN
By: Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
Happy New Year! Winter’s short days and cold temperatures often bring higher energy bills, but there are opportunities year round to reduce your energy consumption and save money without sacrificing comfort. Make your New Year’s resolution to save energy and money. Here are some tips, and organizations that can help:
Take small steps such as Weather-stripping to seal leaks at the edges of windows or doors; Caulking to seal gaps that don’t open and shut (e.g. where a fireplace or an air vent is built into the wall); and Insulating to keep the warm air in and the cool air out!
In an effort to increase home energy efficiency, the U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a pilot Home Energy Scoring Program. Similar to the government-rating for fuel efficiency of vehicles, a standardized home energy score is expected to help Americans know how many “miles to the gallon” their homes get. Allegheny County was chosen as one of ten areas selected for this pilot project. The Pittsburgh-region pilot will partner with existing neighborhood house tours to highlight the score of energy efficiency improvements. If your neighborhood association is interested in learning more, please contact EfficiencyPA’s program manager John Horchner at 412-428-9533. Interested Homeowners can visit House Tour with a Home Energy Score, for more information.
Other loan and utility assistance programs for residents:
• Home Improvement Loans: The Urban Redevelopment Authority offers low- and no- interest loans for home renovations and repairs, including energy efficiency improvements. Contact: 412-255-6600.
• Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): A federally funded program that provides cash assistance with residential heating bills. Contact: 412-562-2146. LIHEAP Crisis Assistance assists with termination notices, service restoration, delivery of
heating fuel (oil, kerosene, wood, propane) and emergency repairs/replacements to a heating system or to gas or fuel lines. Contact: 1-800-851-3838.
• $1 Energy Fund: Provides utility assistance to customers who “fall through the cracks” of other programs or still have a critical need after other resources have been exhausted. Contact: 412-431-2800.
For more information on these programs, please visit Sustainability Updates on the Pittsburgh City site.
I wish you a warm and safe New Year!