Columbia Gas program offers Westgate winterizingWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Before cold weather officially rears its head, Westgate residents have the chance to get their homes winterized through a special program announced Nov. 3.
Councilman Tom Waniewski and representatives from several organizations aiding the program gathered at Government Center to unveil the initiative. Columbia Gas of Ohio’s Home Performance Solutions program gives Westgate residents a reduced home audit at $20. This audit determines changes that could save residents 30 percent on their natural gas bills this winter. Once the weatherization changes are made, the audit fee can also be reimbursed.
What Waniewski called “a great collaborative effort in the community” involved efforts from several organizations, including Columbia Gas of Ohio, The Toledo-Lucas Port Authority, Huntington Bank and the Toledo Chapter of the Red Cross.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for residents,” he added.
The Toledo-Lucas Port-Authority assisted in marketing efforts and training auditors, said Kevin Moyer, executive director for the Port-Authority.
“I also went through the program personally and I can tell you it’s a great program,” he added.
Columbia Gas is excited to work with the Westgate neighborhood, said Chris Kozak, community relations and communications manager for Columbia.
The first 150 residents to sign up receive a free winter safety kit, which includes a carbon monoxide and a smoke detector, from the Red Cross. Eligible residents can also receive a showerhead and programmable thermostat during the audit.
The audit often includes a combustion-efficiency analyzer that checks stoves and furnaces, in addition to using thermal-imaging to determine areas with poor insulation. Improvements can include attic and wall-insulation changes, sealing of cracks in walls and other places and possible furnace or boiler replacements.
After the audit, residents can visit a Huntington Bank branch to fill out paperwork qualifying them for rebates of up to 90 percent off these improvements.
To get started, call 877-644-6674.