Sierra Pacific weatherizes 140 seniors’ homes in area | NevadaAppeal.com

Sierra Pacific weatherizes 140 seniors’ homes in area

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Janet Seymour, left, watches as Larry Rackley, a volunteer with Sierra Pacific Power Co., installs a carbon monoxide detector in her Carson City home Wednesday. The company provides free weatherization to eligible seniors and low-income residents in Nevada.
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Each time a Sierra Pacific Power Co. volunteer began a project at Janet Seymour’s home, her smile got a little bigger.

“I’m so excited about this, I’m smiling like a Cheshire cat,” she said.

Seymour is just one of 140 eligible seniors who took advantage of a free weatherization program through the power company. Employees of Sierra Pacific volunteered their time to go to homes to help residents be more energy efficient.

The program, called “Senior Power,” began in Reno in November and expanded to Carson City and outlying areas in May. Project Manager Larry Rackley said about 80 homes were weatherized in Reno. They were surprised by the number of residents requesting the service in the Carson City area.

“We had more than 140 calls and settled on 140 appointments,” Rackley said. “We weren’t sure what kind of response we were going to have.”

Rackley said they are booked for this session, but will resume appointments in the spring.

To find out if they qualify, the homeowner called RSVP and a home companion would survey the home and go over the application with the homeowner. If they met eligibility requirements, an appointment was scheduled.

“These men are going above the call of duty for me,” Seymour said, as she watched volunteer Eric Troska install weather stripping at her front door.

Working on Seymour’s home Wednesday were Rackley, Jim Johnson, Troska and Ralph Negron.

Rackley said the most common utility items to upgrade or change for heating/cooling efficiency are the furnace filter, caulking around windows, weather stripping on entry doors and light bulbs.

“I recommend changing your furnace filter quarterly,” Rackley said. “And change standard light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. A 23-watt CFL is equivalent to a 100-watt bulb, but uses less wattage and has a seven-year life.

“Sierra Pacific Power Co. buys 40 percent of its power; we generate the rest. The less we buy, the more money we and the consumer save.”

In Seymour’s 1,850-square-foot home, light bulbs were changed, weather stripping was installed on her entry door, windows were caulked and a carbon monoxide detector was installed in an area between the heating unit and sleeping area.

“The feeling I get out of volunteering for this project is just great,” Rackley said. “I enjoy what I’m doing. We target the frail or homebound seniors – one’s who cannot afford to do improvements to the home themselves.”

“I’m really happy with what they’ve done,” Seymour said. “I will be keeping an eye out on my utility bills for potential changes.”

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

What they do

WHAT: Senior Power program

WHO: Low-income, fragile seniors

WHERE: Carson City, outlying areas

ITEMS CHECKED: Furnace filter, light bulbs, weather stripping, caulking, thermostat, water heater

CALL: RSVP at 687-4680