Energy upgrades helping transform older Knoxville homes

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knoxville is getting greener as the launch of the Extreme Energy Makeover program officially started Tuesday, which means saving big on electricity bills.

The Alliance to Save Energy is hosting free one-hour workshops for anyone interested in knowing more about home energy efficiency and Knoxville Extreme Energy Makeover (KEEM).

The project will weatherize moderate to low income homes in Knoxville city limits. All of this was made possible by a grant from TVA,. The grant was originally $7.1 million but was bumped up Tuesday to $15 million.

Workshop are from 11:00 a.m. to noon Saturday at Christenberry Elementary School Auditorium, located at 927 Oglewood Avenue. Additional workshop will be held at the CAC building, located at 2247 Western Avenue from at 9:30 a.m., 1;30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. August 31 to September 4 and at 6:00 p.m. September 1 and September 3.

For more information visit KEEMteam.com or call (865) 244-3080.

Knoxville woman save 25 percent on utilities after energy makeover

Dorothy Ware has had the same address for more than 40 years. Her front yard looked a little different Tuesday with cameras, a green ribbon, a red door with a fan, and a lot of attention.

“My unit went out. It froze over and once it freezes over, the water just started running out. It was pouring out and pouring out, and my electricity bill went up and up and up. It’s unreal to pay $400 in the summer a month,” said Ware.

The help Ware is soon getting isn’t a band-aid, but a long-term fix. An energy audit has already been done on her home since it’s not efficient.

“We found a lot of leaks into the attic. So we’ll be air sealing the attic part of the house and the crawl space. The duct system was very leaky. In fact, we’re going to replace the entire duct system on this house,” said Director of Housing and Energy Services for CAC, Jason Estes.

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To qualify, homes have to be built before 1995 and improvements will vary, but the goal is to simply slash the utility usage by 25 percent. The best news is that it costs homeowners nothing.

“The more efficient a home is, the more comfortable the homeowner and family is going to be. In the long run, that helps all of us because it impacts the resources needed to generate electricity,” said Beth Parsons with TVA.

The improvements are making Knoxville a greener and more sustainable city.

“Because once this program is over we will still have the long-term sustainable funding through the Round It Up program from KUB rate payers,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero.

A burden is now lifted off Ware’s shoulders and her budget.

“I’m not too proud to let people know, look, I need some help. So when they offered it to me, I ran to it and I was so grateful for the help.”

To apply for this weatherization program, homeowners have to meet eligibility requirements which include income and living inside the city of Knoxville limits. When applying you should bring your most recent KUB bill, proof of home ownership, Social Security cards for everyone who lives in the home, and proof of income.

Residents can apply starting August 31 through September 4 by going to the LT Ross Building on Western Avenue in Knoxville. For more information on KEEM, you can visit the city’s website by clicking here.

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