Faced with growing numbers of residents unable to afford heating costs and rising amounts of uncollected debt, a Colorado electric co-op has come up with what it hopes will be a long-term solution to the twin problems.
Set to start today, July 1, the ultimate goal of the Energy Foundation, created by Tri-State member San Luis Valley REC (Monte Vista, Colo.), is to help needy member-consumers keep future heating costs down through in-home weatherization. Veterans, through a local green jobs training group, will supply the labor; Operation Roundup funds and federal stimulus dollars will pay for it all.
“The idea is if we can begin to mitigate some of the energy bills by weatherizing homes, we can begin to eliminate the need for shut-offs and high energy bills,” said John Villyard, CEO of San Luis Valley REC. “It’s a big circle that will take a long time and some effort, but we have to start somewhere.”