May 23, 2018

Alabama is known for college football championships, fields of cotton, mouth-watering BBQ, and for being the place where people still say "yes ma'am" and "no sir." What the state isn't known for are generous homeowner energy rebates and incentives, like much of the country enjoys.

In the northern part of the state, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is the main power provider for electricity. (It is the same TVA that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law in 1933, generating power for people from dams along the Tennessee River.)

About the Nexus Energy Center programs for homeowners

Huntsville, Alabama is the headquarters of the Nexus Energy Center, a non-profit organization started in 2010. In seven years, Nexus Energy Center has done over 1,900 energy efficient projects in homes and businesses. Nexus Energy Center has a certified BPI Building Analyst and HVAC specialist on staff who helps homeowners save money on their utility bills.

Nexus Energy Center offers two programs for our clients – The Comfort Project and AlabamaWISE. The Comfort Project serves veterans, low income, and underserved residents who live on limited incomes. We provide an average of $3,000 in energy improvements for each home, upgrading insulation, air sealing, attic sealing, and either repairing or even replacing old HVAC units. This is a free service we offer through grants, fundraisers, and generous corporate and philanthropic help.

Nexus Energy Center has worked on over 50 homes and is about to begin another round of homes, thanks to our supporters. The Comfort Project averages these folks between 20-40% savings on their utility bills. That's money they can use for medicine, food, gas, and the other things in life these elderly people deserve.

The AlabamaWISE program is a community energy program and is the program for which most homeowners qualify. Working with our partner, Redstone Federal Credit Union, we offer a 1% loan where residents, who meet certain requirements, can borrow up to $15,000 for energy improvements in their homes. That 1% loan is for two years and keeps us busy as people take advantage of the low interest rate.

Today, the state of Alabama offers no energy rebates. TVA and several of its local utility services offer a variety of help for homeowners who are served by the nation's largest publicly owned utility in the U.S. There are some cash rebates for lighting upgrades and more efficient HVACs. Some local utilities offer additional services. Recently, Huntsville Utilities received a huge multi-million-dollar grant from TVA to put $10,000 worth of energy efficient equipment in older homes in our county. That money helped many in our community. But there’s much more work to do. Hopefully soon, the state will have money available for homeowners to use to lower their utility bills.

For more information about Nexus Energy Center, please visit nexusenergycenter.org.

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Nexus Energy, Guest Poster

The Nexus Energy Center is the only non-profit organization to create a smart energy future for Alabama through Education, Conservation, Efficiency and Renewable Generation.  Nexus Energy Center administers four programs in our organization: The Comfort Project, Educational Outreach, AlabamaWISE, and BusinessWISE.