Insights > Entergy Arkansas-Nonprofit Partnership Helps Low-Income Customers Save Energy Costs
Entergy Arkansas-Nonprofit Partnership Helps Low-Income Customers Save Energy Costs
Families who have little money to start with can’t afford to waste electricity. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to improve efficiency in almost any home, and there’s a program in place to both identify the savings opportunities and implement them.
Entergy Arkansas offers several energy efficiency programs to residential, commercial and industrial customers. Among them is one aimed specifically at customers of limited means, the Low-Income Solutions Program.
In 2020, the Low-Income Solutions Program saw an opportunity to pool resources and efforts and do more by working together with a local nonprofit to help income-qualified households become more comfortable, safe and energy-efficient with home weatherization upgrades.
Based in Little Rock since 1981, the nonprofit Better Community Development Inc., works to improve the quality of life for low-income, underserved, disadvantaged and at-risk people. One of the ways they serve is by providing energy-efficiency, and health and safety improvements at no charge to income-qualified residents in Arkansas in part by using funding from the federal Weatherization Assistance Program. Under the Department of Energy, the program is administered locally by the Arkansas Energy Office and is available to eligible homeowners and renters and specifically targets the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and families with children.
The work includes high-tech energy audits and advanced diagnostic technology to determine the energy-conservation needs of a house, providing, among other improvements: weather stripping doors and windows; caulking and sealing cracks and holes; insulating attics, walls and floors; installing storm windows, adding energy-saving light bulbs; installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; repairing and retrofitting furnaces, and replacing energy-wasting refrigerators and electric water heaters with highly efficient models.
The Weatherization Assistance Program helps participants improve their efficiency by about 30%, saving an average of $413 annually per home. It’s good for the participant and good for the environment, since the efficiency improvements also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an average of one ton per weatherized house.
The typical amount of money available from Entergy Arkansas for upgrades to a qualifying low-income single-family home is $2,050. Add that with the $7,810 from the federal program, and it becomes $9,860 - enough to implement significant improvements in a home. Similar numbers apply to those living in apartments.
Through this collaboration more services are provided than either program can give independently.
“We are able to do more for these houses because of the additional incentives from working with the Entergy Solutions Program. Having another resource to use makes a difference for the people we’re trying to help,” said Program Manager James Whitaker with Better Community Development.
Since partnering in 2020, the two programs have shared the costs of improvements for more than 20 homes.
For more information on whether you qualify, visit http://bcdinc.org/programs/weatherization-assistance-program or www.entergyarkansas.com/lowincome or call 866-627-9177.
Download LIS_Case Study_Better Community Development_RELEASE.pdf