Despite the frigid days this past month, 12 families in Albany are staying warm in their homes thanks to the help of Operation Weatherize Albany, a collaboration between University at Albany, the City of Albany Sustainability Advisory Committee, and Hudson Valley Community College. Modeled after Williams College’s Winter Blitz, the program trained 35 local volunteers to go into homes and apartments and put plastic up on windows, install door sweeps, and replace lighting with LEDs. These actions are an important part of energy efficiency and provide both energy and monetary savings for the households participating. The households targeted for the improvements were those who either might not physically be able to winterize their homes, or needed the financial assistance of the free supplies and installation.
In addition to providing the satisfaction of a job well done, volunteers also learned important life skills that they can one day apply to their own homes. One participant shared how, “during the training as we went throughout the house and were taught common things to look for and how to identify them I felt myself becoming more aware of things that could be done take [sic] a house more efficient. Now when I walk throughout my own house, I find myself subconsciously taking note of things that could be fixed or improved.” Volunteers included college students, high school students, and community members.
We congratulate UAlbany and the City of Albany on their success and look forward to seeing how their program serves more households in the years to come!
Many thanks to Dr. Mary Ellen Mallia, University at Albany Director of Sustainability, for providing details on the program! Learn more here.