Arizona Weatherization Program Success Stories
Weatherization Program Gives Local Contractors Boost
At a time of chronic unemployment throughout Arizona and the nation, Weatherization and Energy Efficiency programs create much-needed jobs.
The Weatherization Assistance Program
- helps low-income families and individuals lower home-energy costs
- increases health, safety and comfort in the home
- improves the quality of housing stock in communities statewide, and
- creates jobs
Weatherization: Employing People From Tucson to Pine Top
Steve Craig, owner of Arizona Style Construction, is putting people to work from Tucson to Pinetop.
Contracting with local Community Action Agencies through Weatherization Assistance Programs throughout eastern Arizona, he and his crews have weatherized 200 homes, helping maintain his business in these slow economic times.
Located in Tucson, Craig uses local vendors and suppliers in Pinetop, Show Low and Lakeside where his crews have completed 50 home weatherization projects using local electricians, plumbers and heating and cooling installers.
Craig even has his trucks serviced locally when he is on the job. He has purchased tires, repaired windshields and replaced a transmission through local vendors, and he stays in local motels and supports local restaurants.
Craig believes Weatherization stimulus funding is a great opportunity to provide on-the-job training for his crews and to cross-train technicians in all aspects of weatherization program.
He currently employs four and plans to hire two more specifically for Pinetop and Show Low projects.
“My crews know building from the ground up; they are current on the latest technologies,” Craig said. “With the training they receive they can teach others.”
Currently, three of his staff are Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified, having attended Weatherization Boot Camps, weeklong training programs offered through the Foundation for Senior Living Southwest Building Science Training Center in Phoenix. In addition to providing jobs and supporting local businesses, Craig has seen how weatherization makes significant changes in people’s lives.
“Every house and every apartment we complete means one more family moving towards self-sufficiency and away from government assistance. It helps to relieve the burden on government,” he said. “Weatherization is good for the customer, the company and the community.”
Curtis Anderson — Globe, Arizona
Curtis’ mobile home was very costly to heat and cool. The heater was old and didn’t work very well. In fact, he rarely used it, choosing to use his gas oven, instead, and supplementing that with small electric heaters. He said that using these heating sources was affecting his health.
Living on just social security made it very difficult to keep warm. In the summer, he would try to stay in one room where he had a window air conditioner. His peak bills in the summer ran him a $100 a month, which he found extremely difficult to pay on his fixed income.
After weatherization, which upgraded his furnace and installed an energy efficient air conditioning unit, sealed his ducts, and properly vented his hot water heater, Curtis saw his electric bill drop by 45 percent.
He now feels much better and says he actually has money left over at the end of the month.
Gary and Linda Davis — Miami, Arizona
Gary has a chronic illness that left him unable to work. Linda has to stay home and take care of him. Just getting by on Social Security and sick pay, they could barely make it month to month.
The Davis’ furnace didn’t work, and their cooling wasn’t much better. They made use of the Gila County Weatherization Department’s services in order to improve the efficiency of their home. Through this program, insulation was added to their un-insulated attic, their barely-operational furnace was upgraded to a gas pack that both heats and cools, and their hot water heater was properly vented. Their heating bill has been reduced by approximately 50 percent.
In a thank-you letter to the Department, they noted that their home is now much more affordable and comfortable. They stated that “this program is truly a blessing and has helped us so much with the financial and emotional stress that we have been under. From day one, when the insulation went in, even before the furnace was installed, we slept better and warmer that night.”