The cost of running an air conditioner goes up with the temperature. That's why hundreds of people turned to a government-funded program to make their home more energy efficient, but with the organization now under investigation, some are wondering if they will ever get help.
Amy Levering's disability qualified the family for help in making their Omaha home more energy efficient. “Swallow our dignity and apply for things that take a lot out of us to do.”
A year ago, Weatherization Trust approved the house for an energy makeover, but nothing has been done. “Weatherization Trust, where's the trust in that, trust to do what?” asks Terry Levering.
A month ago, the Nebraska State Patrol raided Energy Trust near 16th and Locust, seizing records. The investigation involves spending of government money on energy savings, like were homes that received new air conditioners, water heaters and furnaces really qualified and were any of those appliances replaced that didn't need to be?
Nobody answers at the Weatherization Trust office, which concerns Jewel Shields of Omaha, approved for assistance in 2009. “I was very appreciative of having the service, but I never got it. I don't know what is going on with them.”
The Nebraska Energy Office funnels federal money to organizations like Weatherization Trust. State director Ginger Wilson tells Fact Finders she hopes another contractor will step in soon for weatherizing Douglas County homes like the Leverings.
“We just want to know if they're going to help us or not going to help us,” says Amy.
Instead of the Levering’s home, it's the investigation into Weatherization Trust that's tightly sealed. If you live in Douglas County and need help weatherizing your home, call the state at 402-471-2867.