Wanted: More member-owners to ‘upgrade and save’
Among the many smart energy savings tools available to co-op member-owners, Roanoke Electric offers a unique program to help member-owners save energy and money by making weatherization improvements in their homes and businesses.
Through the co-op's Upgrade to $ave program, at member-owner's request, the co-op will conduct a free home or business energy efficiency assessment. It the assessment shows that weatherization upgrades can be made at no upfront cost - or even an added monthly cost - to the member-owner, the co-op will recommend the weatherization upgrades that will achieve the greatest level of cost- and energy-savings based on the assessment. The member-owner decides if they want the no-cost upgrades. .
Both the assessment and weatherization upgrades (should the member-owner want them) are done at little or no upfront cost to the participating member-owner. The upfront costs are covered by the co-op, which secured federal financing to invest in these member-owner home energy-efficiency improvements.
Throughout 2018, the co-op is ramping up its Upgrade to $ave activity in an effort to bring the program's benefits to more member-owners. They have hired, trained and contracted with additional professional energy efficiency assessors and skilled weatherization crews. Member-owners who have not yet taken advantage of this opportunity are encouraged to do so.
“We still have nearly $4 million in federal financing left to invest in the homes of member-owners through the program,” said Marshall Cherry, chief operating officer for the co-op.
Upgrade to $ave allows member-owners to receive cost-effective, energy-efficient home improvements at no upfront cost to them. All member-owners are eligible to participate in this program that begins with the free energy assessment, simply as a benefit of co-op membership. The co-op will send and pay for a certified energy assessor coming to the participant's home and conduct a full energy assessment to determine the efficiency upgrades that will result in the most cost-savings on the participant's monthly power bills. The co-op will then schedule a follow-up appointment to send a weatherization crew back to the participant's home to install the energy efficiency upgrades -- also at no upfront cost to the participant. The co-op covers the investment costs of the upgrades so the member-owner will not be charged a fee nor incur any loan debt.
All member-owners can participate in the program by requesting their free assessment regardless of whether they own or rent their homes.
Q. Is Roanoke Electric “loaning” me money?
A. No. Roanoke Electric is investing in your home’s energy efficiency by paying the upfront costs. You will have no loan and no debt. No credit checks are needed either. The co-op will recover its costs by placing a monthly charge on your bill that is significantly less than the expected savings. Charges will start about 45 days after the work is complete.
Q. Can renters who are member-owners get an assessment?
A. Yes. They can get an assessment.
Q. Does my existing HVAC unit need to be working for me to get a new HVAC unit?
Q. Can I get new windows and/or a new refrigerator?
A. No. New windows don’t justify the cost (in energy savings) and since a refrigerator is portable, they can’t be authorized. Energy Star fridges and freezers are a great investment. You will find out through the program how much your current units are costing you.
Q. Does someone check the work to make sure it was done correctly?
A. Yes. Roanoke Electric team members thoroughly inspects the quality of the work performed onsite before the co-op pays the contractors.