Recovery Act Impact: Boston ABCD Weatherization
"We have tens of thousands of potential customers," said David MacLellan, Director of Conservation Services for Boston ABCD. "Now we're able to serve many more customers and every customer we serve will use less energy and it will reduce their environmental and fiscal impact. They will also be more comfortable."
Benefits like a safer house. According to MacLellan, the energy audit which his department conducts to determine the weatherization needs of the house will
Paulette Whittaker, a widow who lives in Dorchester with her daughter, was freezing in her own home. Her windows were so drafty, she had put plastic over them but her heating bills were still very high. "Everything was going out those windows," she said.
She went to Boston ABCD for fuel assistance and was told she might qualify for weatherization services also. She did and the energy audit indicated that her old heating system was also to blame for her high bills. A new furnace and insulation not only keep Whittaker warm but also keep her bills manageable.
"We are dealing with low income families and if customers don't have heat often their homes become unbearable," noted MacLellan.
A house that's unlivable doesn't just impact the family it renders homeless; it impacts the whole neighborhood. "A house that is taken care of and is safe and secure helps to keep a neighborhood safe and secure," said MacLellan. "When people have to move out and the house becomes abandoned property, criminals could come in; the house could get boarded up. By providing some services at the front end, it keeps people in their homes and stops the neighborhood from falling into disrepair."
For MacLellan, there is no greater proof of the success of the program than the stack of thank you letters on his desk. "For so many people, this has made a huge difference in their lives," he said.