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Bremerton energy program kicks off with demo house
RePower Bremerton's program of testing homes for energy efficiency and offering recommendation on upgrades begins in ernest Tuesday when Local contractors begin work on a rental property at 104 Acorn Street.
“This is an exciting moment for me and my tenants,” said Jim Adrian, owner of the 104 Acorn Street property. “It’s truly a win-win: the rebates make the upgrades affordable and my tenants benefit from a decrease in their energy bills.”
Adrian, past president of the Puget Sound Rental Owners Association, is one of a growing number of area rental-property owners who have committed to energy assessments and upgrades.
In July 2010, Bremerton received a BetterBuildings award from the U.S. Department of Energy. The city was one of 20 communities in the country selected to receive money for energy efficiency.
The grant was $4.9 million that is going toward the assessments and has created 66 new jobs, said Hilary Franz, who is involved with the program.
Over half of Bremerton homes are renter occupied. Therefore, engaging landlords in the upgrade process is a key to saving energy in the community.
Each assessment includes a 90-minute walk-through of the unit from Puget Sound Energy to address problems and the evaluator will come up with a list of recommendations ranging from duct sealing to installing compact fluorescent bulbs. Kitsap Credit Union—another key RePower partner—offers an Energy Efficiency Loan Program to finance improvements, making them even more affordable. RePower Bremerton benefits are available for single- family homes with one to four units.
Troy Olson, project manager and contractor with Washington Energy Savers, will install floor and wall insulation at the Adrian property on the fifteenth.
Olson is one of 18 local contractors who have joined the RePower trade ally network, and has been inspecting and upgrading other homes through RePower’s sister program on Bainbridge Island and other Kitsap County programs. “RePower has brought me new work all over the county,” said Olson. “Energy loss is a real problem with homes in this area and there are a lot of available solutions.”
RePower Bremerton—along with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and Cascade Natural Gas Corporation—provide cash-back incentives to offset the cost of qualifying energy-efficiency improvements.