As winter sets in, Make Oak Ridge Energy Efficient, or MORE2, is helping Oak Ridgers lower their home energy use and their electric bills.
Mary Kate Lacey, a retired licensed practical nurse, rents an Oak Ridge home that she hopes to someday own. After taking part in MORE2, she said her home is more comfortable now than in the last five years and that her electric bill is reflecting energy savings.
“My heat pump just doesn’t run all the time now like it used to,” she explained. “And my utility bill is already a little lower than in earlier years.”
Funded by Tennessee Valley Authority, MORE2 kicked off in April and began upgrading the homes of qualified Oak Ridge residents with free energy-efficient equipment, such as HVAC, water heating units, and insulation.
Bruce Applegate, assistant to the city manager for City of Oak Ridge said: “This program is provided at no cost to the resident, which makes it a great opportunity for many Oak Ridgers. The City of Oak Ridge is excited to provide this opportunity, in particular for these older homes that typically have higher electricity usage.”
Pleased with her MORE2 experience, Lacey told the team: “Everyone with this program was so nice and respectful. They cleaned up after themselves and explained everything to me.”
Lacey’s upgrades included a new HVAC unit, ductwork, and insulation.
“I am so glad to have the new HVAC unit in my home—it is already making a difference,” Lacey said.
Lacey’s landlord, Debra Lively, is also happy.
“It just seemed too good to be true,” Lively said. “I was very skeptical when I first heard about this program. I found it hard to believe it would truly be free of charge for both me and the tenant. But, it was a fantastic opportunity and program—it was best for both of us!”
She said she wishes more landlords and tenants would apply since it increases home values.
“I couldn’t believe this was really free—such a great opportunity!” Lively said.
In November, MORE2 raised income eligibility levels. Now, it is easier to qualify. Find out more at http://www.makeoree.com/reserve-application/.
In addition to installing upgrades, MORE2 empowers Oak Ridgers by educating them on energy-efficiency, which leads to lower electric bills and a healthier environment, the press release said.
To learn more, you are invited you to a MORE2 event:
- MORE2 Public Meeting and Application Assistance—Thursday, January 26, from 4-6 p.m. at Scarboro Community Center
Those attending receive energy saving giveaways, tips on how to save energy at low or no cost, energy efficiency education, and information on other programs.
For more information, or to apply, visit MakeOREE.com or call (865) 375-4656.
This press release was submitted by Annie Cacheiro.