2013 Warm Hearts Warm Homes
With frigid below zero temperatures this week across Montana, winter has clearly arrived. With the arrival of the cold and snowy conditions, Montanans are turning up the heat in their homes to stay warm. In preparation for the long winter season, Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) AmeriCorps members took action to help low-income Montanans stay warm and safe this winter without seeing their energy bills skyrocket.
For the eighth year, MCC AmeriCorps members participated in the statewide Warm Hearts Warm Homes project, deploying across the state to provide energy education and basic winter weatherization services to low-income families. Approximately 180 MCC members provided the services and education to over 1,100 Montana families in 48 counties from Crow Agency to Libby.
Betsy Miller, a former MCC Crew Leader, participated in 2013 Warm Hearts Warm Homes:
“It was very humbling and rewarding to help people in local communities stay a little warmer and reduce their energy use this winter. Having conversations with the individuals gave us the opportunity to share what we know about energy conservation, and they were left feeling more empowered to make energy saving decisions. The families were very grateful for the materials and education provided to prepare them for the winter season.”
The MCC members installed energy saving devices such as window coverings, energy efficient light bulbs, and weather stripping. The weatherization services were followed by instruction on how to use their new energy saving devices and tips for how to realize significant energy savings. MCC members recommended that project participants turn out the lights in rooms that are not being used, change furnace filters regularly, and turn down the thermostat at night and when out of the home. They also demonstrated how to check the temperatures of hot water heaters and refrigerators and adjust the settings to optimal levels.
Click here to check out additional energy saving tips from the U.S. Department of Energy.
This year’s Warm Hearts Warm Homes project was supported by the State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services as well as the Montana-Dakota Utilities.
MCC is a nonprofit organization that develops young people as leaders, stewards of the land, and contributing citizens by engaging them in hands-on conservation service projects to improve lands and communities. For more information on MCC, visit www.mt.corps.org.