Volunteers help low-income New Orleans residents save money with energy-efficient homes

Rebuilding Together, a non-profit organization that rehabilitates houses for low-income homeowners, has recently teamed up with energy cooperatives across the United States, as well as a number of volunteers, to help residents in New Orleans weatherize their properties. 

The upgrades can start very simple, states local news source WWLTV.com – anything from caulking and sealing to plugging holes in the walls. The idea is to fix problems in the home and reduce residents' energy bills. According to Robin Young, who works for Rebuilding Together, it's possible to bring these monthly costs down from $300 to $75, which is significant for people who are living on fixed incomes. 

In New Orleans in particular, where summers are especially hot, certain energy-efficient technologies can help block the heat from entering a home. Not only does this keep homeowners more comfortable, but it enables them to stay cool without breaking the bank.

"Given all the struggles and all the challenges that [people in New Orleans] have been through, this can give them some sort of closure, some relief and a beautiful home to live in that's energy efficient to boot," said Mark Hayden, a Rebuilding Together volunteer.

It's always heartening to see these kinds of humanitarian efforts in action. It's important to keep in mind, however, that thanks to the state of Maryland's multiple rebate offerings, including those available from Pepco and Potomac Edison, it may be easier and more cost-effective than you think to make energy-efficient upgrades to your home. To get started, contact a home inspection contractor to request an energy audit. Additionally, as we've mentioned before on this blog, some key tax credits made it into the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 as part of the fiscal cliff deal, meaning that homeowners can save up to $500 on energy-efficient upgrades.