Northeast Energy Corps, part of Northeast Parent and Child Society’s Career Development Services, has received a substantial grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The $148,199 award will support 30 AmeriCorps members who will learn the skills needed to conduct energy audits, retrofits and upgrades in low-income homes in the city of Schenectady.
The benefit of the program, which has already been running for a year, is twofold, said Eugene White, communications specialist for Northeast Parent and Child. Participants, all of whom are volunteers, learn skills that could help them secure careers in the energy efficiency industry. Homeowners who receive the energy audits and upgrades the volunteers provide will ultimately have more money in their pockets.
“A homeowner with an energy bill of 200 bucks a month — heat, lights, everything — in the winter, has more money to feed their family and to invest that money in their community, so everybody in Schenectady benefits from a program like this,” White explained.
AmeriCorps volunteers will “connect the homeowner with the best and most fiscally responsible way to make their home more energy efficient,” he said. That process will include providing energy audits, making homeowners aware of funding and services available through public and private programs and assisting them with the application process. Volunteers will also complete some of the work needed to make homes more energy efficient and conduct post-remediation audits.
Northeast Energy Corps beat out several hundred other organizations to receive the grant.
“This was a very competitive year. Organizations requested more than twice as much funding than was available,” said Samantha Warfield, acting press secretary for the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Just 69 of the 332 applicants received funding this year, she said.
“We’re very proud of the program and we’re thrilled to get this grant,” said White. “We’re honored to be considered worthy of it and to be selected.”