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Prineville homeowners get warmer, save money

By Mackenzie Wilson
Published On: Feb 08 2013 02:11:57 AM CST

NewsChannel 21's Mckenzie Wilson reports on NeighborImpact program to weatherize the homes of low-income Prineville residents, with big savings.

PRINEVILLE, Ore. -

Take it from Mike Olayos: Living in a tight space doesn't mean it's easy or cheap to heat.

"It was probably in the wintertime running me about $200 (a month)," said Olayos, who owns a mobile home in Prineville.

The weatherization portion of NeighborImpact's Homeowner's assistance program seeks to help people like Olayos stay warm and save money.

"These people are on fixed incomes, and we're really cutting their power bills down, 50 to 60 percent," said Mark Christopher.

Christopher is the foreman for All Phase Weatherization, the company contracted to do the weatherization on homes that qualify for NeighborImpact's program. Christopher told NewsChannel 21 the program is popular, so much so there's a long waiting list.

"It's a long process -- it usually takes about a year between when they apply and when we show up," Christopher said.

But it's worth the wait. Crews rip out old insulation and replace it with a more efficient spray foam. The result is huge savings for the homeowner.

"They did this (the weatherization) about four weeks ago, and I can already tell the difference in my electric bill," said Olayos. "It also stays warmer, and the nice thing is it will stay cooler in the summer, thanks to the new insulation."

Homes are fixed up from top to bottom. Many in Olayos' Prineville neighborhood already got new leak-proof rubber roofs through the program. The contractors also address safety concerns.

"Our furnace wasn't working, and I had to shut it off with the breaker box because I was afraid of a fire," Olayos said.

Crews installed a new furnace for Olayos, and now he's sleeping easier.

"I couldn't ask for a better thing to happen," said Olayos.

The best way to see if you qualify for help from NeighborImpact is by calling the non-profit. The number is 541-323-6567.

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