TVA Helps Hundreds of Mississippi Homeowners with Improvements

APRIL 6, 2017—Hot summer temperatures are just around the corner, and there are thousands of Tennessee Valley residents who suffer every year in houses that are inefficiently cooled—and they often pay high utility bills to boot. Now, TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions for the Home group is making a real difference for many people like Verlean Akins of Starkville, Mississippi (pictured below).



Akins used window air conditioners in the summer and space heaters in the winter, which meant uncomfortable temperatures and high power bills due to the inefficiency of these appliances. Akins knew she would benefit greatly from energy improvements, like a new heat pump, but she could not afford them.

This is where TVA has stepped in with its Smart Communities Extreme Energy Makeovers (EEM) initiative, awarding $3.8 million to project partners 4-County Electric Power Association (EPA) and ICF International to help Akins and about 250 other Mississippi homeowners with much-needed retrofits.

“It’s rewarding to see projects like this help such great, deserving people,” said Cindy Herron, vice president of TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions® program. “These are real savings and lasting home improvements. It is TVA’s mission of service in action.”

“The Extreme Energy Makeovers project has really helped us impact people’s lives,” said Jon Turner of 4-County EPA. “Two hundred and fifty of our members will be better off, thanks to TVA. I’m proud we could partner with them to help people in our service territory live more comfortably and have more manageable power bills at the same time.”

For Akins, the project is making a real difference. Her window unit was replaced with a new heat pump, and duct sealing, air sealing and attic insulation were installed. She will save hundreds of dollars each year on her utility bill, and says she plans to use the savings on more home improvements.

In addition to making life better for the homeowners, the economic impact of the program benefits the entire community. For local installation contractors—all members of TVA’s carefully vetted Quality Contractor Network—4-County EEM has channeled more than $900,000 in project funds to carry out retrofits.

This is all part of a large project that began in 2015 when EnergyRight Solutions awarded just over $40 million to provide energy-efficiency retrofits for income-qualified residents in seven communities. In all, the projects will help nearly 3,700 Valley residents have more efficient homes and lower costs. It is one of 11 projects that TVA agreed with the Environmental Protection Agency to undertake in support of TVA’s mission of service: to make life better for the people of the Valley.

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