City of Hammond Weatherization Program
March 10, 2011
When the City of Hammond requested a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant Program, Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr.’s Office raised a question. How could the funds most effectively benefit the tax payers of Hammond? The question was raised because many municipalities had in the past used similar grant funds for public building projects or had limited success in getting the funds to where it was needed most in the community.
To Mayor McDermott the answer to how best to use the grant funds was obvious – offer the tax payers of Hammond an opportunity to substantially increase the energy efficiency of their residences.
After the Mayor’s staff was successful in its grant application the City of Hammond issued a Request for Proposal that sought qualified companies who could maximize the effectiveness and efficient way to implement the Mayor’s goals for the program.
Robert Ferrino of Madison Construction responded to the RFP with a comprehensive strategy and management plan. His idea was that the City of Hammond could realize the biggest return on its grant dollars by implementing a cost effective program that focused on proper levels of insulation, exterior air-bypass, caulking and installation of Compact Fluorescent Lights. By focusing on these simple core areas of weatherization, Madison Construction and the City of Hammond could offer the benefits of reduced energy consumption to the maximum number of homeowners.
Madison Construction’s response included a commitment to hiring and mentoring Hammond residents to work within the program. The Mayor’s Office and Madison Construction are proud to announce that residents of Hammond were hired specifically for this program and have continued to be employed by Madison Construction because of their outstanding work ethic.
As the program was implemented it was felt that the most transparent way to award funds under the program was to conduct a public lottery of all eligible applicants. In advance of the lottery, the program was advertised in local media and the City’s website. The response was overwhelmingly positive as on May 27th, 2010, at the Mayor’s Night Out event, 300 Hammond homeowners had their name drawn.
After the lottery, Madison Construction conducted a residential energy audit of each home including a blower-door test, and a visual inspection of the home’s exterior to determine the individual weatherization solution to be implemented.
Most homes under the program received blown-in insulation to R-30 standards, rubber weather stripping door sweeps and caulking. Each homeowner under the program also had 10 CFLs installed in their most used electrical fixtures. To measure the effectiveness of the program, the homeowner was asked to provide 12 months of energy consumption from NIPSCO bills as well as consumption after the work was completed on their homes. This before and after information served as the basis for Madison Construction commissioning an independent engineer to establish if the goal of reducing energy reduction was met. This conclusive report boasts up to a 40% savings in energy consumption and lowering the homeowner’s green house emissions and results in a monthly savings of at least 15%.