A pilot program from Columbia Gas of Ohio for Portsmouth customers can save homeowners money on their energy bills.
“This is the Home Performance program,” Steve Sturgill, Executive Director of Community Action of Scioto County (CAO), said. “They have targeted the city of Portsmouth, 45662, with a special program to help people winterize their homes.”
Sturgill said people in the city of Portsmouth are automatically qualified with no income verification required.
“This is eligible to anyone in the 45662 area,” Sturgill said.
Sturgill said the program consists of having Columbia Gas send out an energy auditor to come to your home to do the audit for free. He said the process usually takes three to four hours.
“They go through every minute area in your house,” Sturgill said. “It’s a very extensive audit with a very extensive report that will follow.”
Within the report, there will be recommendations for what needs to be done to winterize your home. Sturgill said the customer will get an estimate of the cost of doing all of the work.
“As far as I’m concerned, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the residents of Portsmouth to get this work done,” Sturgill said. “It’s also available, not only to homeowners but to landlords as well.”
Sturgill said the average cost of doing the work in a home in the city of Portsmouth, is around $3,500. Through the audit, the only cost to the homeowner or the landlord is $300.
“Columbia Gas is absolutely subsidizing this work, up to probably 90 percent,” Sturgill said.
Sturgill said CAO has been doing the program in partnership with Columbia Gas and CLEAResult of Columbus, for the past 18 months.
“The first year we did over 100 homes in our area,” Sturgill said. “Last year it dropped off significantly and we’re still trying to figure out why that happened.”
Sturgill said it is important for those involved to get the word out to Portsmouth residents so CAO will be going door-to-door and put hangers telling about the program on doorknobs.
“If people find those on their doors we don’t want them to be concerned,” Sturgill said. “Columbia Gas is not looking for them.”
Sturgill said CAO, Columbia Gas, and CLEAResult are attempting to make people’s homes a little safer, a little warmer and a little cooler, and provide their family a much better living environment.
Sturgill said Community Action is a contractor for the program and they want residents to know the program will not come back this way, so people should take advantage of it.
“I don’t know how much longer this program will last,” Sturgill said. “I want to be able to do everything we possibly can.”
Anyone who wants to schedule an audit or get more information about the program can call 1-877-644-6674.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.