Patricia Buckler of Carson City said she was happy that despite the falling temperatures she will be able to afford to heat her home this winter.
Buckler expects to save about $50 a month on her utility bills with help from a grant program from the State of Nevada Housing Division.
The program, funded with Federal Department of Energy funds and the Universal Energy Charge added to all Nevadans' utility bills, allows those eligible to weatherize their home at no cost. Families with low or fixed incomes, including the elderly or disabled, are eligible for the program.
The Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program is designed to lower the utility costs of those who are most affected by higher utility costs by making homes more energy efficient, according to Craig Davis, weatherization program manager.
Buckler's home received several new windows, new fluorescent lights, weather-stripping on the doors, duct sealing and a new shower head.
"The duct system was pressurized to find any air leaks. You can have a high efficiency furnace, but if you have leaks in the ducts it doesn't do any good," Davis said. "Mrs. Buckler received $3,500 to weatherize, and she will save about $50 a month on her utility bills or $9,500 over the next 17 years."
Annually, about 1,000 homes are weatherized through the program, less than 1 percent of those who apply for weatherization funds, according to program officials.
Gov. Kenny Guinn visited Buckler's house Thursday to remind Nevadans to be cognizant of ways they can save energy in their own homes.
"We need to educate people, because they don't know how big an impact it can have. We hope that people, when they go to buy a house, they ask to see the utility bills," Guinn said.
Guinn has also declared Oct. 30 Weatherization Day to bring awareness about the program and help encourage people to lower their energy costs.
Aside from saving money, weatherizing a home improves property values for homeowners and improves the life of the home, according to Guinn.
But for the 83-year-old Buckler, the biggest advantage, will be the lower utility bill every month, she said.
"For the income I have, Social Security doesn't cover much. My bills in the winter are between $200 and $225 and having this has just been beautiful. I am really looking forward to saving some money," Buckler said.
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