As temperatures rise, so does the cost to keep your home cool. On Wednesday, the Oklahoma Energy Review Board and Oklahoma Department of Commerce teamed up with the Great Plains Improvement Foundation to give one lucky Lawton homeowner an extreme energy makeover. The goal: keep the home's utility costs down when weather temperatures are extreme.
By making inexpensive improvements to your home, you can also save up to 40% on your energy bills. Replacing small things, such as light bulbs, window seals, and light switch covers, can add up to big savings.
Director of Weatherization and Housing, Bill Havron, says that some people rely on that little bit of extra savings. "That [savings] makes a big difference to a family that needs that money for medicine, food, and stuff like that," he says. Havron and the Great Plains Improvement Foundation weatherize hundreds of Oklahoma homes across the state. It can be very welcome for low income families with energy problems.
Tania Hibbets says that constantly adjusting her home's temperature was a big concern for her as a parent. "The hotter the weather is getting, the more it [the temperature adjustment] is," she said. "When its cold outside it's colder in my house. I've got two small kids, and I don't want them to get sick, or burn up, or dehydrate."
Hibbets also had an oven that was leaking carbon monoxide - so much so that her oven had to be replaced. "The stove had a real high carbon monoxide content, well beyond our maximum standards; therefore, we are allowed to go out to buy a new stove for the client," says Havron.
Mindy Stitt, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Energy Review Board, says that the slumping economy creates the perfect motivation to become energy efficient. "Everyone needs to do their part to conserve energy, not just for the world but for themselves...to save money," she says. "These are trying times, with high gasoline prices and high natural gas prices."
Other improvements being made to Hibbet's home include new weather stripping on the doors, installation of energy efficient showerheads, and energy efficient windows.