National Weatherization Day to help some local energy bills drop through NECAC weatherization program

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Randy Malcom, of the NECAC weatherization team, hangs weather stripping on the back door at an apartment at River Bluff Senior Apartments on Thursday Morning in Hannibal. Megan Duncan

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Laura Berry, who lives at River Bluff Senior Apartments in Hannibal, hopes to see a decrease in her utility bill this year after workers from Northeast Community Action Corporation spent their morning weatherizing her home.

Berry’s apartment is one of 40 units at River Bluff Senior Apartments to receive new smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, LED light bulbs, air sealing around windows and doors, duct work in the attics and more.

The apartments are jointly owned by NECAC and MACO Management, a property management company based in Clarkton, Mo. 

The work began Thursday morning and Berry’s apartment was opened up by NECAC as a demonstration for National Weatherization Day, which will be on Oct. 30.

National Weatherization Day highlights the impact of the Weatherization Assistance Program, which saves energy, improves the health and safety of homes, and supports jobs and small businesses.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources reported on their website that weatherization assistance programs help produce safe and healthy homes “by testing gas appliances and systems for combustion safety, carbon monoxide, efficiency, and gas leaks” and that “every dollar invested in weatherization returns $1.72 in energy savings.” 

Eric Benn, technical director for NECAC weatherization in Bowling Green, said NECAC will perform anywhere from 200-300 weatherizations each year to help eligible residents lower their monthly energy bills. 

The upgrades include but are not limited to:

  • Insulation (attic, walls, floor)
  • Repair of windows and doors
  • General air sealing (Caulking, weather stripping)
  • Furnace (clean & tune, repair, replacement)

The work begins with an auditing process to test the air quality in the home by measuring cubic feet per minute (CFM). The goal is to reach around 50 CFM per thousand feet.

Benn said before the weatherization process begins, the condition of the home must also be assessed.

“If contractors say there is a roof leak, we have to fix that before we come in and start the auditing process,” Benn said.  

The check-up is also a time to plug-in other NECAC services if needed. Programs such as Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) offer eligible recipients with less than 10 acres funding for home repair.

Benn reports there are more than 200 on a waiting list for weatherization services through NECAC but anyone with a heat emergency during cold months is considered a high priority.

To find out more about NECAC weatherization program and eligibility visit their website.

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