Home weatherization saves money and lives

By DANZA JOHNSON / NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Chris Baughman was getting robbed by her own home.
With electric and gas bills at more than $300 a month each, the Plantersville resident turned to Lift Inc. for help. Baughman and nearly 300 other Northeast Mississippians benefit from Lift’s weatherization program.
October is National Weatherization Month and Friday was Weatherization Day, so Lift held an awareness event at its McCullough Boulevard office Friday.
Weatherization is making homes more efficient for heating and cooling in order to save money on utilities. The program relieves low-income families of the burdens of expensive energy bills. Baughman said since having her home weatherized by Lift, her summers haven’t been too hot or her winters too cold.
“My utility bills dropped by $100 a month during the winter,” said Baughman. “I was paying $295 electric bills. I don’t know how we would have made it without Lift. This was the hottest summer ever and we were able to survive it comfortably with two window air conditioner units.”
Lift’s director of programs, Marlyn Davis, said 280 residents in the eight-county area had their homes weatherized by the organization in 2009 and this year they are on pace to do about 260.
Kelcy Trice is weatherization coordinator. He said not only does weatherizing homes save money, but it also saves lives.
“We replace a lot of old unvented gas space heaters that put out carbon dioxide with vented ones that are clean,” said Trice. “Carbon dioxide is a silent killer because people can’t detect it by smell. So this program is a real life-saver.”
To be eligible for any of Lift’s programs, a person has to fit certain financial guidelines. To learn more about the weatherization or any of Lift’s other programs, call (662) 843-9511.