Free energy efficiency improvements available

February 19, 2013

The South Central Community Action Program is seeking applicants from Brown, Monroe, Morgan and Owen counties for its Weatherization Program.

The Weatherization Program reduces energy consumption in low-income households and insures that each client has a safe, operating heat source. Each client receives a furnace inspection and an energy audit. SCCAP uses private contractors to repair or replace heat sources, install insulation and seal the homes. Homeowners and renters are eligible. The program is federally funded and is free to local participants.

“This is a great time to apply for our Weatherization Program,” SCCAP Executive Director Todd Lare said. “While we sometimes have long waiting lists for Weatherization, we currently have worked through most of the names on our lists and are seeking new applicants.

“The Weatherization Program allows households to reduce their utility bills while being safer and more comfortable in their homes,” Lare said. “On average, across the nation, it reduces energy costs by more than $400 per household each year.”

To be eligible to have your owner-occupied or rental home weatherized, your household income must not exceed 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. The income limits by family size are: 1 person in household – up to $22,340; 2 people – $30,260; 3 people – $38,180; 4 people – $46,100; 5 people – $54,020; 6 people – $61,940. For apartment buildings to be weatherized, two-thirds of the occupants must be eligible for the program and all units in the building must be weatherized. To apply, call 812-339-3447, ext. 275.

SCCAP is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for low-income citizens to move toward personal and economic independence. Its programs include: Affordable Rental Housing, the Circles Initiative, Energy Assistance, Family Development, Head Start, Individual Development Accounts, Section 8 Housing and Weatherization.

Tuesday News – Old National and SCCAP team up

October 26, 2010

SCCAP is currently working with Old National Bank to help make repairs to the home of an elderly Bloomington couple.

The work is being done with funds from a Old National grant program in which the bank will spend up to $10,000 if another entity provides a 25 percent match. SCCAP is providing the matching funds.

In this case, Old National’s funds are being used to repair the home’s roof, chimney and foundation, among other things. That work is almost complete.

SCCAP Weatherization funds will then be used to put in a new furnace and make other energy efficiency improvements.

The home was built by the couple 59 years ago. We are very pleased to be able to help them with renovating it so that it will be safe and comfortable.

Solar PV Projects Part of $120 Million DOE Weatherization Funding Awards

September 8, 2010

This article from the Solar Home and Business Journal discusses the new weatherization grants that SCCAP and other organizations have been awarded:

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that 120 organizations across the country will receive nearly $120 million under a Weatherization Assistance Program that will include some solar photovoltaic installations.

Even more common than solar PV will be installations of solar water-heating systems under the various programs receiving funds.  A wide range of other energy-efficiency and weatherization measures are included.

The investments, the department said in a news release, will enable successful weatherization agencies to expand their programs and will support new pilot projects to demonstrate innovative weatherization delivery and financial models, as well as new technologies. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu also announced that the program reached a new milestone in June — weatherizing more than 31,600 homes across the country.

“The weatherization program under the Recovery Act is successfully creating jobs in local communities, saving money for families, and reducing carbon pollution across the country,” said Mr. Chu. “The funding announced today builds on the department’s existing investments in energy efficiency to continue to expand and drive innovations in the weatherization program that will provide even greater energy and cost savings to low-income families.”

After ramping up last year, the Weatherization Assistance Program is now weatherizing homes at its optimal run rate of approximately 25,000 homes a month. The program is creating thousands of jobs locally, the department said, putting carpenters, electricians and factory workers back to work installing insulation, upgrading appliances, and improving heating and cooling systems. According to state reports, the Recovery Act Weatherization Program supported more than 13,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2010.

Under the program, about $90 million in Recovery Act funds will be awarded to more than 100 high-performing local weatherization providers in 27 states to complement and expand their existing weatherization programs. Each of the selected organizations has already met a milestone of weatherizing 30 percent of their total production goal and spending 30 percent of their Recovery Act funds. The new awards will allow these organizations to install renewable-energy systems and cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies in homes to help families save money on their energy bills. This includes installing technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels and shingles, solar water-heating systems, small-scale wind turbines, new insulation technologies, cool roofs, high-efficiency appliances, tankless hot water systems, high-efficiency combination boilers for hot water and heat, in-home energy monitors, and ductless heat pump systems.

An additional $30 million from the weatherization program’s annual budget will go to 16 recipients that will demonstrate other innovative approaches to weatherizing low-income single and multifamily homes. Projects will include new types of weatherization partnerships, financial models that allow for greater private sector leveraging, workforce training and volunteer engagement, and the demonstration of new energy-efficiency technologies such as in-home energy monitors.

Groups receiving funding for projects that specifically mention solar photovoltaic systems include the following:

Indiana: Five local weatherization agencies have been selected to receive over $1.3 million to implement a variety of technologies. Four of them mention solar PV or solar panels:

  • Community Action Program of Evansville and Vanderburgh County Inc., based in Evansville, will receive over $300,000 for the installation of tankless and solar hot-water systems, solar panels, and heat pumps.
  • Tri-CAP (Dubois Pike Warrick Economic Opportunity Committee Inc.), located in Jasper, will receive nearly $250,000 for LED lighting, geothermal heating and cooling, solar photovoltaics, and new water heating, among other technologies.
  • Miami County YMCA, located in Peru, will receive over $220,000 for solar photovoltaic and solar hot-water systems.
  • South Central Community Action Program, Inc., based in Bloomington, will receive nearly $400,000 for tankless water heaters, heat pump systems, and passive solar panels. Read the rest of this entry »

Six simple ways to save energy at home

October 21, 2009

Along with helping people with their utility bills and making energy efficiency improvements to homes, the South Central Community Action Program also provides education to clients on how to use less energy in their homes.

So it’s always good to see others spreading the word on saving energy at home. Here’s a pretty good list of energy-saving tips available today at

One tip that I’ve been meaning to implement, but haven’t yet, is to install a programmable thermostat. Another tip, that I didn’t know about, was the significant energy savings you can achieve by washing your clothes in cold water when they aren’t very dirty. Maybe we better sign me up for that SCCAP energy education workshop!

Related story: A grandmother’s $745 electric bill last winter and a program to reduce her future energy use.  

And here’s more ways to save money at home from – A month of money-saving tips, including one today on how to save a lot of money in buying firewood: Hire a wood cutter. 

A grandmother’s story of a $745 electric bill and a program to reduce her future energy costs

October 19, 2009

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series of stories about one of the first weatherization jobs that the South Central Community Action Program is undertaking with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Energy and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.
Shirley Beamont

Shirley Beamont

Shirley Beaumont never used to worry much about paying her utility bills.

That was before her husband of almost 50 years died six years ago. Back when the retired couple was receiving both of their social security checks, as well as his pension from Indiana Bell, they could live reasonably comfortably in the home they’d bought in November 1960.

But these days, with just Shirley’s fixed income from social security paying the bills, there’s less of a cushion for unexpected expenses. Last winter, Shirley faced rising expenses that would be a problem even for a wealthier person when the cost of heating her home just west of Bloomington skyrocketed.  In an all-electric house, she received an electric bill of $345 one month and $430 the next. She was still reeling from those bills when the next month’s bill arrived – $745. 

“Oh my God,” she recalled. “I cried.” Read the rest of this entry »

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