City of GJ to establish energy outreach program

Fritz Deither, owner of Frostbusters and Coolth, inspects the cantilever for air leaks before installing new insulation at 2151 Hawthorne Ave.

Ruth Michels thought she new a lot about home energy efficiency until she became the winner of a $10,000 home energy makeover from Xcel Energy.

She’s so excited about reducing her energy usage that she’s teaming up with the city of Grand Junction to help educate other homeowners about what resources are available to them to save energy costs.

“I thought I was smart about energy and actually we’re not savvy about how just the little things we do can add up,” Michels said outside her home at 2151 Hawthorne St. Construction crews began working this month on the promised home improvements, including adding insulation to the key areas of her home that were leaking heat.

Michels is working with Kathy Potner, neighborhood services manager for the city of Grand Junction, to help develop an outreach and energy program that would help connect Grand Junction homeowners with energy saving programs and area contractors to help make their homes more energy-efficient.

“We’re fueled by Ruth’s enthusiasm,” Potner said.

Funding to start the local program will come from an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the Department of Energy. The grant is part of federal stimulus package funds.

“We’d be using our funding to let homeowners know where to go to collect the resources they need to be more energy-efficient,” Potner said. The program would be part of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce’s Greenbacks program.

Potner said the program is expected to kick off this summer.

“Oh, we’re going to make this happen,” Michels said.


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