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Mid-Ia Comm. Action, Alliant partner to deliver savings by energy audit

February 10, 2013
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

MARSHALLTOWN- Alliant Energy and Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc. (MICA) are partnering to deliver energy savings to income-eligible households in Tama, Marshall, and Poweshiek counties through Alliant Energy's Home Energy Savers (HES) program. Families that qualify for HES will receive a state-of-the-art energy audit from MICA, and Alliant Energy will pay 90 percent of the costs to eliminate the areas of energy inefficiency found during the audit!

"Alliant Energy is proud to partner with MICA to expand the Home Energy Savers program," said Robin Sempf, Alliant Energy senior product manager for energy efficiency. "This program seeks to help families better manage their energy costs with energy-efficiency upgrades at minimal cost to the homeowner. MICA is a natural fit to deliver this program given their energy efficiency expertise and strong connection to the community."

To qualify for HES, a family must live in Tama, Marshall or Poweshiek counties, have Alliant Energy as their natural gas and electric utility, and earn between 200-300 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

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Once qualified, the first step in HES is MICA's energy audit, which includes inspecting the home for air tightness using a blower door test, identifying areas of heat loss using an infrared scan, testing of the water heater and furnace for both safety and efficiency, metering the refrigerator and freezer for electrical consumption, identifying areas of water loss, and identifying inefficiencies in lighting.

Once the audit is complete, MICA's energy auditor will recommend improvements to increase the energy efficiency of the home. Improvements could include installing a new water heater or furnace, a new refrigerator or freezer, insulating walls and the attic, as well as installing low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Homeowners may then choose which improvements they would like to make. Work will be completed by MICA's weatherization technicians, and Alliant Energy will pay for 90 percent of the costs associated with these services while the family receiving the work will pay for 10 percent of the cost. Finally, Alliant Energy and MICA understand that paying for these improvements, even with a 90 percent discount, may be difficult for some families.

That's why MICA's weatherization auditor will work with homeowners to identify which improvements will provide the most energy savings for the homeowner's budget. MICA will also make a financial counselor available to homeowners to identify areas of savings or create a budget.

"We thank Alliant Energy for their confidence in our ability to make meaningful energy efficiency upgrades to homes in Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama counties," MICA Executive Director Arlene McAtee said. "This program can lead to substantial energy savings for families that would otherwise be unable to pursue such options. It is a good program for all of us the families served, the community where the families reside, and for our ongoing partnership. Energy savings benefit all of us."

To learn more or to apply for Home Energy Savers, contact the MICA Family Development Center in your area: Marshall County Family Development Center: 641-753-5523; Poweshiek County Family Development Center: 641-236-3923; Tama County Family Development Center: 641-487-4713.



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