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Indiana Heating and Cooling Bills Cut By Weatherization

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July 5, 2012

PORTAGE, Ind. - A Portage woman couldn't be more grateful for the Weatherization Assistance program that helps keep her home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The 2009 Little Calumet River flood destroyed the insulation in the crawl space of Cindy Markley's home.

"The insulation that's under my kitchen floor is in the crawl space and we had to take all that out. Then my husband passed away and we never got it back in. So, I was having to use a space heater in the kitchen and it was just really cold all the time in the winter."

Being on disability and having a fixed income made the thought of repairs seem impossible until a cousin helped Markley apply for a program through Northwest Indiana Community Action to get her home weatherized.

Weatherization experts inspected Markley's house, cleaned the furnace and installed insulation, reducing her energy bills by 60 percent. Markley says she sent a thank-you card, and appreciates the opportunity to say thank you again to Northwest Indiana Community Action.

"I really hope they get the recognition that they deserve because, if they knew how they touched people's lives that weren't able to, or even fathom how they could, fix something like this. You know, especially like as a woman who doesn't know how or doesn't have the money."

Statewide across Indiana in the last two years, close to 11,000 low-income homes have been treated by community action programs, touching the lives of close to 25,000 people. Through the weatherization program since 2010, about 9,200 homes have had insulation installed and over 7,600 faulty furnaces, water heaters and stoves repaired or replaced.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN