NOVEMBER 20. 2019 — Many homeowners across the Valley met last week’s sudden-onset winter weather by bumping up the thermostat or plugging in space heaters. For those whose homes aren’t properly weatherized, though, those measures don’t provide much comfort. Neither will their power bill when it comes in.
Drafty houses can leak heat, energy and dollars. Memphis homeowner Erica Warren dealt with those losses last winter, struggling to keep her home comfortable for her toddler daughter and to pay her MLGW bill. This winter is already different.
Warren’s was the milestone 350th Memphis home weatherized at no cost to homeowners through TVA Home Uplift and partnering weatherization programs. Together with MLGW, the City of Memphis and the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, this income-based program helps lessen qualifying homeowners’ energy burden through a variety of upgrades. For example, Warren had her ceiling repaired, two doors replaced and insulation blown into her attic.
“It feels like a warm blanket has been laid over my home,” Warren says. “I can really tell a difference.”
She hosted a group of community leaders at her home last week to showcase the work completed on her home, followed by a milestone home dedication with speakers including Jeff Lyash, MLGW President J. T. Young and representatives from the city.
MLGW President J.T. Young addressed the small crowd gathered for the dedication and pointed out the challenges of the aging housing stock in the city. “In an older community like Memphis, there are many homes that were constructed during the time before there was great concern around energy efficiency,” Young said. “What we’re trying to do is help folks enjoy the homes they’re blessed with.”
“Improving housing directly strengthens our community,” said Mark Creech, TVA executive director in Memphis. “We are thrilled that TVA can provide additional funding to help more families and lift up the community as a whole.”
Warren and her family later joined hundreds of other Memphians who have participated in Home Uplift at a milestone celebration held at the Children’s Museum of Memphis. Families and neighbors came together for carnival-themed festivities that included carousel rides, games, food, a juggler and stilt walker, and special appearances by the Memphis Grizzlies’ and Redbirds’ mascots.
For Warren, though, the partnerships that brought the upgrades to her home and hundreds of others mean more than a day of festivities: “It’s a peace of mind that people come together and give, and you can’t put a price tag on it.”