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Weatherization funding still available for Bullitt County

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By Stephen Thomas

  SHEPHERDSVILLE - Summer is here and the weather is heating up, but a local agency hopes to help take out the worry for some homeowners needing a little more summertime assistance.

The Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency is offering its Weatherization program, designed to assist qualified families and seniors in paying utility bills and preparing their homes to be more energy-efficient.

The program is offered annually with assistance from the Department of Energy and funded in part through the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

MPCAA executive director Kim Embrey-Hill said the program helped lower the cost of monthly energy bills. She said the program was simple and easy to do, starting with a call to the local MPCAA offices.

“It’s income-based, but all you need to do is call and find out what you need,” she said.

Local agents help residents determine if they qualify for the program. Once determined, agents come to the residence to test the furnace and perform a home inspection.

“They get their furnace cleaned out at the least,” Embrey-Hill said. “If necessary, they will have their furnace replaced.”

Embrey-Hill said inspectors may also aid with air sealing, insulation or calking depending on the home’s situation. She said these efforts helped to decrease the monthly heating and electric bills.

“Community Action has been doing this for years in Kentucky,” she said.

In the past year MPCAA completed work in 13 houses over a three-county area, including eight homes in Bullitt, at an average cost of $8,392.

“The average amount could be anywhere between five to seven thousand,” Embrey-Hill said. “That’s nothing to sneeze at. We don’t want this money to go to waste.”

Shepherdsville resident Eve Heffley began working with the Bullitt County MPCAA about 18 months ago. When she learned about the Weatherization program, she decided to find out if she qualified.

“My heater didn’t work,” said Heffley. “I didn’t have any heat for two winters, off and on.”

Hoping that her furnace would be fixed, Heffley was pleasantly surprised when it was completely replaced.

“From the time they inspected my house until the time they fixed it was about six weeks, but it only took two days to replace the furnace,” she recalled. “They did a lot of work. All I really cared about was that they brought me heat.”

Heffley agreed that the program’s process was simple, beginning with presenting the property paperwork to qualify, including a copy of monthly heating bills, along with proper identification, Social Security and proof of income.

“I own my own home so I had my title,” she said. “If you rent, you have to have the lease.”

Heffley said inspectors did a thorough walk-through of her home, checking for cold spots and areas to improve.

“Before they came, my monthly electric bill was $192,” she said. “It went down to $106 in one month. Now it stays around $70 in the summer.”

Heffley said the inspectors performed quality work, even returning to her home for follow-up inspection.

“God knows how grateful I am because I was cold for a long time,” she said. “I tell as many people as I can. It’s so easy I don’t know why more people don’t do it.”

Embrey-Hill encouraged anyone who may qualify to contact the local office for more information.

“They’ll work with you, and they’ll tell you what paperwork to bring,” she said. “They will help them.”

For information on the MPCAA Weatherization program, or to schedule an appointment, call 543-4077.