Weatherization Has Us Feeling Lowe’s!
As the notoriously cold and brutal Chicago winter inexorably marches on our fair city, it is so important for our homes to be equipped to fight back. We know this, the residents of West Pullman know this, and Lowe’s certainly knows this. The evidence? Saturday, November 5th, 2016.
On this beautiful day (we’re talkin’ 60 and sunny in November), these groups teamed up for Block Build. 100 volunteers came together on 120th and S Normal Ave to not only complete exterior repairs on 5 homes and clean up 6 vacant lots, but also to hand out 600 free weatherization kits to help folks from all over our city increase the energy efficiency of their homes.
Listen to this: low-income households typically spend 17% of their income on energy costs, including heating and cooling—that’s far too much.
It gets worse: if homes are not properly sealed, they lose warm air and those costs have nowhere to go but up.
But hey, here’s good news: weatherizing a house can reduce those costs by 12 to 30% and even small efforts can have dramatic effects on financial savings. Studies have shown that weatherization can produce returns of $2.72 for every $1 invested. More importantly, weatherizing can lower the cost per kilowatt of energy by as much as $0.142. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, keep in mind that the average household uses over 10,000 kilowatts annually!
And thanks to the presence of our Lowe’s heroes at Block Build, it is simpler than ever. The kits they generously donated contained some really critical items: window sealant, foam tape, and gaskets for the spaces behind electric outlets and light switches. These are the areas where a home is most vulnerable to losing warm air during the winter months. And even more, Lowe’s brought out some of their most expert employees to demonstrate how to effectively use these materials.
This all comes as no big surprise. Lowe’s has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build healthy homes for over ten years now. Within the last year alone, they’ve worked with dozens of local Habitats as part of their #1000Homes initiative. The goal of this venture? Ensuring at least 1,000 homes are built, repaired, and stable by the end of 2016 so that more families can truly celebrate being home for the holidays.
One of our modus operandi at Habitat is that everyone can be a catalyst for change. That means embracing every effort, no matter how big or small, and remembering that a thousand little pushes add up to one giant force (or in this case, reducing the cost of 10,000 kilowatts leads to giant savings for families!) Thanks to Lowe’s and the hundreds of volunteers and community residents that came out for the Block Build, that force is now being brought to so many people who need it!