This past year, several of our neighborhoods in Durham were selected to have energy-efficient upgrades made to their houses by taking part in the Neighborhood Energy Retrofit Program (NERP). This project is made available through President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The upgrades are being funded through the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The homes that applied for, and were accepted into the program, will have several upgrades performed on them to make them less consumptive of energy this winter, and through these actions, will have reduced utility costs for many years. The improvements that will be made include adding new attic insulation and sealing air leaks, sealing ductwork, installing programmable thermostats, and adding low-flow water fixtures to showers and faucets through the house.
The neighborhoods that were selected for Phase I of the project include Colonial Village, East Durham, Lochaven Hills, Spring Valley, Tuscaloosa Lakewood and Lakewood, and Watts Hillandale. In Phase II of NERP, the following neighborhoods were chosen: Morehead Hill/West End, Northgate Park, Parkwood/Frenchman’s Creek/Newhall Village, Trinity Park, Fisher Heights Community, and Duke Park.
If you would like any more information about this program, or if you live in one the the neighborhoods that were mentioned and would like to be included in the program, please either send me an email or call me. There are still many openings available to be included in the NERP, because many houses were unexpectedly not included because of unvented gas appliances in them.
This caused a problem because through the retrofits, the envelope of the house will be tightened, thus allowing for less natural air flow through the home. The potential accumulation of carbon monoxide gases in your home will add toxicity of your indoor air quality. That is the reason that homes with unvented gas appliances were not included in the NERP.