HEET winter blitz fighting cold on multiple energy efficiency fronts

HOUGHTON – Along with a volunteer home winterization blitz kicking off this weekend, Houghton Energy Efficiency Team Energy Manager Melissa Davis has announced two parallel efforts. The group has begun a crowdfunding campaign to pay for materials for the group’s winterizations, she said, as well as an Efficiency Challenge for do-it-yourself homeowners.

The Efficiency Challenge gives homeowners a list of nine monthly projects that will leave homes tighter, warmer and cheaper to heat next winter, along with plenty of support in carrying out the projects. Davis said Ace Hardware in Calumet, and Festival Foods True Value hardware and Swift True Value Hardware in Houghton, are all participating, with promotional HEET displays including instructions and all the materials needed for each project.

January’s project is caulking around windows, doors and other seams that can let cold air into homes. On Tuesday, Davis and Swift True Value owner Marilyn Swift set up a display with literature, caulk guns and several colors of caulk.

Swift said people have become more conscious of the high costs of electricity and home heating in recent years, and she’d like to help them save on their bills.

“We want to help the community become airtight,” she said.

Want to get-er-done faster? Davis recommended a caulking party, and said HEET has buckets of five caulking guns available for loan to save on the cost. She said the caulking guns and other resources can be picked up Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. at HEET’s new office at 422 Quincy Street in Hancock.

Davis said HEET’s new crowd-funding campaign, to cover costs of winterization materials, is off to a good start, having raised nearly $1,400 of its $10,000 goal since launching quietly Dec. 21. Anyone interested in donating to the cause can do so online at www.superiorideas.org/projects/HEET.

HEET’s Robert Handler, who’s organizing the fundraiser, said all contributions are tax deductible, and volunteer labor would leverage donations to made sure donors were getting the most bang for their buck.

“We have a whole team of people that are ready to get their hands dirty to put the materials to use,” Handler said. “A one-time contribution will pay itself back many times over for residents of the Houghton area.”

To learn more about HEET, or if you’re interested in volunteering, go to energizehoughton.org.