Putnam RISE to celebrate home makeover Tuesday

Monday, June 25, 2012
The Green Home Makeover property is now complete. The home, located in Cloverdale, has many energy-saving features, including solar panels and a newly installed metal roof.

Putnam RISE, a countywide energy conservation project led by the City of Greencastle Sustainability Commission, will celebrate the completion of its Green Home Makeover on Tuesda at 3 p.m.

The makeover property is located at 54 South St. in Cloverdale.

"Putnam RISE is an outcome of the Putnam County Community Foundation's Envision 2011 Grant," said Steve Setchell. "This was a special competitive grant process that the foundation implemented in its 25th anniversary year."

The year-long project, funded by the Putnam County Community Foundation and the Vectren Foundation, is designed to spark creativity and collaboration with organizations in the community, has completed several projects including an energy challenge.

The Cloverdale School Corporation successfully cut its energy consumption by 20 percent and 14 percent of county homes pledged to participate in its household conservation project, Putnam RISE Energy Savings Pledge.

The final phase of the project is the Green Home Makeover, which was headed by Cathryn Ensley and Wes Kendall. This phase focuses on lowering the utility bills of 10 homes, each with household incomes of $45,000 or less.

The Green Home Makeover is the featured property among these home projects, which were selected from applications promoted through local social service agencies and The Banner Graphic.

The home makeover located in Cloverdale, not only improved the quality of the home, but gave jobs to several local companies, including Energy Conservation Solutions of Roachdale.

"When the RISE project started Energy Conservation Solutions, which is owned by my wife Tonya, wanted to get involved and do a community project," said Bill Mentgen. "We stepped up and volunteered and donated about 56 audits to the program."

Energy Conservation Solutions was able to provide these audits, which tested the air quality levels of the homes.

"Through the process we were able to help steer the weatherization committee and help them understand what weatherization is and some of the pitfalls can be," said Mentgen. "We were able to provide good air quality and gain some energy savings through the whole process. Most every structure that's out there today nobody every bothered to see what the leakage rate is of the house and where it could be."

With the Green Home Makeover the team was given a budget to go all out on the home with. As the company does not have a large team, it employed local Roachdale contractor Jeffery Hunt of Hunt Insulation to help with the completion of all 10 homes.

"Weatherization it's really important," said Mentgen. "You can save a lot of energy and money. Most of these homes are 50-70 years old. A little bit of stuff has been done here and there, but nobody has really ever taken a good hard look at what can be done."

The team began its testing using infrared cameras and other testing was able to simulate a home having direct wind on it. Using the technology, the team as able to see where the leakage is in the home.

"Ideally what you're trying to do is minimize the air infiltration into the structure," explained Mentgen. "We try to capture those leaks high and low along with slowing that natural air change that's in the house. What happens is that you no longer have to add as much heat to it, which reduces the energy usage in the home."

"As a result of local volunteers, nonprofit organizations and local businesses partnering through the Putnam RISE project, the home now features a six-panel solar array donated by One Planet Solar & Wind (Terre Haute)," explained Setchell. "Along with four energy efficient appliances donated by Shuee & Sons Great Buys, a 90 percent efficient furnace, a metal roof and significantly improved air and moisture sealing."

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