ETV Show to Feature Energy Efficiency Project in Chesnee
Javan Hawkins, a member of Broad River Electric Cooperative, had a lot of people roaming around his home on October 26, 2011. Not only was there a crew of workers giving his house an energy efficient upgrade, but there was also a camera crew filming the project’s every step.
“I don’t mind a bit,” Hawkins proclaimed. “If this is going to save me money on my bill, they can bring in as many people as they want.”
Hawkins made his home open to this invasion as part of the Help My House project, a research program from Broad River Electric. The small-scale program allowed select participants like the Hawkins – Broad River Electric member-owners targeted for their higher-than-average electric use -- to make energy efficiency upgrades to their home through a low-interest loan provided by the cooperative. The loans required no money down, and payments will be conveniently included on monthly electric bills. In the Hawkins home and more than 100 other newly-weatherized ones across the state, co-ops will be watching to see if the average energy savings gained from the upgrades will cover the monthly loan payments over the next year.
While insulation and a new heat pump were being installed, a crew from the South Carolina ETV show Making It Grow was there to document the process. Show host Rowland Alston, whose own electric cooperative Black River EC is also making Help My House available to their members, knows first-hand the impact energy efficient improvements can make.
“I’ve taken these kinds of measures at my home and they have saved me a lot of money,” Alston said. “I wanted to let our viewers see the value of making such an investment in their own home.”
The Making It Grow episode featuring the Hawkins’ Chesnee home will air Tuesday, January 10 at 7 p.m. on local SC-ETV stations. The Emmy Award-winning show is a live, interactive call-in program produced by ETV and Clemson University. Alston and featured guests typically focus on gardening topics, while highlighting interesting places and products from around the state.
PICTURED: Roland Alston (center-left) interviews Help My House project manager Lindsey Smith as work is being done to the Hawkins’ home.