First Light Energy Project, 2010
First Light Energy was a pilot project to advance home energy efficiency in low income neighborhoods. The pilot was conducted as a collaborative effort among Sustainable Tallahassee’s Education Committee, Rainbow Rehab, Inc., First Presbyterian Church, and the City of Tallahassee.
Trained volunteers met with Seminole Manor homeowners to: review their energy usage patterns over the last year, identify low-cost retrofits and repairs, work with them to do selected fixes, introduce energy saving ideas, and identify and arrange for free City Energy Services programs, such as energy audits, ceiling insulation, and appliance rebates.
The fixes were low-skill tasks, such as changing filters, installing CFL’s and low water flow devices, adding weather stripping, adjusting hot water and refrigerator temperatures and heater/air conditioner thermostat settings, cleaning dryer vents, etc. drawn from a 32 task list developed in coordination with Energy Services staff.
All materials were provided free of charge to participants.
Fourteen homes were serviced and their energy savings calculated. Angel Nelson, a 27-year-old homemaker, began saving $48 a month for her household of six. “I think it’s great – it does help,” she said. “If your bill is high and you can’t understand why, they can figure it out for you.”