SCE&G launches new program to help homeowners save energy

Published: Jun. 9, 2015 at 7:27 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Tuesday, SCE&G unveiled a new program that will help dozens of low income families cut down on their utility bill.

Patricia Brown has lived in her Charleston home for 15 years.

"I have a very old house," said Brown.

SCE&G left a flyer on Brown's doorstep about their new weatherization program and she decided to call.

"I know I needed the help," said Brown.

SCE&G has partnered with Boeing and the Sustainability Institute to launch the Home Energy Savings program. Its part of the South Carolina Energy Conservation Corp, which recruits and trains at risk youth and veterans so they can be placed in jobs in the energy industry.

Over the next two years, the utility company is going to give 80 low income families in the Lowcountry full utility upgrades - for free.

They're also providing information about how to conserve energy.

"The only way it pays off is it if becomes systemic in the communities and neighbors tell neighbors and they pass it on to their children," said Keller Kissam, President of Retail Operations for SCE&G.

The crew spent three days in Brown's home.

Kissam says the weatherization process entails sealing windows and doors, wrapping the water heather and hot water pipes, checking or installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. They also check where your thermostat and water heater are set to and change your air filters.

"I didn't know I had that many leaks in it until they started working," said Brown. "They said 'you got air going out here and air going out there.' That's why my bill was so high!"

Kissam says each household they weatherize in the program will have their monthly electrical bill lowered by up to 30 percent.

"My house's electricity bill is now lowered," said Brown.

Brown says it's not only helped her budget but also her quality of life.

"When I come home from a hard days work, I want to be comfortable - and it keeps me comfortable," said Brown. "They went above and beyond what they needed to do for me and I really appreciate it."

Brown says she hopes her story will encourage others to ask for help.

This link has more information for interested homeowners.

SCE&G also has energy saving tips for all homeowners during these hot summer:

-When you're not home, keep your thermostat at 78 or higher.

-Set your water heater to 120 degrees.

-Keep HVAC vents and interior doors open to keep air flowing freely.

-Check and change air filters monthly.

-Lastly, one that many people don't think to do: Unplug appliances, lights, tv's and computers when you're not using them!

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