Omaha is showing off the results of the reEnergize program designed to keep heating and cooling costs down. After a slow start there are now nearly 350 homes made more energy efficient in the city.
If you mention energy efficiency, many people think about the big ticket items like the HVAC system or water heater, but there are other ways to save energy in the home that won't cost you an arm and a leg and as one woman found out, can also improve the quality of life.
A tour of Mary Redelfs' home reveals more new features than the nearly 100-year-old woodwork or the decorative glass windows. Mary is most proud of the energy efficiency upgrades partly financed with a reEnergize Program Grant. "It's a very, very reasonable low-interest rate or you can pay for it yourself, but either way it is at least half of what you'd pay if you did it all yourself."
Mary upgraded her HVAC system and made other big changes, but the programs goal is a 15 percent savings in energy use and the program director says that can be achieved inexpensively.
Kristi Wamstad-Evans says, "Most times you can achieve 15 percent with a combination of things like attic insulation, wall insulation and basement seal."
Mary says in winters past she would confine herself to the home's two warmest rooms, but now she is more active and lives in the entire house because of the energy upgrades she made through the reEnergize Program.