Green Opportunities Collaborates with Housing Authority Weatherization Project

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Green Opportunities Energy Team member Derrick Finley installing a weatherstrip on a door at Hillcrest Apartments.

Staff Reports

Last May, Green Opportunities’ (GO) Energy Team secured a contract through the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville (HACA) to recruit, train and place public housing residents in jobs weatherizing public housing units. In its first four months the GO Energy Team created almost a score of jobs and weatherized approximately 1,200 units of public housing.

The GO Energy Team, along with Home Energy Partners, has been working for Energy and Environmental Consultants (EEC), a Maryland-based energy efficiency firm, to weatherize the units. EEC is under contract with the Building Technologies Division of Siemens Industry, Inc., which developed the energy savings program in collaboration with the Asheville Housing Authority. The program will produce energy and water usage savings totaling more than $750,000 a year for the next 14 years.

The GO Energy Team on-the-job training program is designed to prepare
low-income and unemployed adults for careers in clean energy. The team
functions like a small business, providing energy audits and
weatherization services on a sliding scale to homeowners and commercial
and small businesses while providing critical work experience for GO
training program graduates and other eligible clients.

“The HACA building performance project has trained and employed
disadvantaged community members, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and
saved the taxpayer money through improved energy efficiency,” said
Marcus Renner, GO Energy Team Coordinator. “The collaboration has had a
triple bottom-line impact.”

GO Energy Team crew members working on the HACA contract have
received weatherization technician training and certification as part of
a collaboration with the Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian
Ministry’s Green Jobs Program. The program, funded by the US Department
of Labor, specifically targets unemployed Asheville residents with
barriers to employment. In addition to weatherization, participants of
the program can receive training and placement services in biofuels,
solar hot water, LEED and building performance analysis.

The scheduled completion date for the project is October 31,
2010. After the project, GO hopes to keep the Energy Team members
employed weatherizing commercial buildings and homes throughout the
region. For more information, contact project coordinator Marcus Renner
at (828) 713-3346.

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