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This summer, the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service approved a sixth year of funding for the University of Northern Iowa's Green Iowa AmeriCorps program. That's good news for homeowners and renters who, thanks to the program, receive free home weatherization and energy education.
Sarah Renn began saving money immediately after Green Iowa AmeriCorps service members recently made repairs to her home. The members fixed leaks in Renn's attic, basement and at the front door, dramatically reducing the cold air seeping into her son's room.
"The leaks in our son's room have improved drastically and our upstairs bedroom is not as cold as it used to be," Renn said. "The best part was after only two weeks of the changes being in place, our gas bill went down $30.00 and our electric bill went down almost $20.00!"
The Green Iowa AmeriCorps program is coordinated by UNI's Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE). This September the program trained and placed 30 service members in six Iowa communities: Cedar Falls/Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque and Fairfield. They will provide residential energy audits and weatherization services for low-income, elderly, veterans and persons with disabilities.
Since October 2013, Green Iowa AmeriCorps has served more than 918 homes, saving Iowans an estimated $1.2 million over the long term.
- Saved 94,094 kilowatt hours
- Saved 6,203,540 gallons of water
- Leveraged 971 volunteers
- Provided more than 5,589 hours of service
- Reached more than 9,982 people
The program has partnerships with all three of Iowa's major utility providers: MidAmerican Energy Company, Alliant, and Black Hills Energy. Visit the Green Iowa AmeriCorps website to see if you qualify for a free audit or weatherization services.