. . . joined the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church,
. . . in the small town of Hayesville, North Carolina in 2007.
He had become concerned about climate change, while living in Atlanta, and
. . . was drawn to the church’s Green Team, and
. . . the mission that “we be good stewards of what we have been given, and
. . . love our neighbors as ourselves.”
He wanted to use his passion for environmental action, and
. . . his years working in the utility industry to make a positive change.
Rouse started a program through his church, to provide free energy upgrades to families in need.
. . . Working with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, church volunteers go out to the trailers, and
. . . homes of disadvantaged families, perform an energy assessment,
. . . identify sources of free or low-cost materials, then fix the problem.
Upgrades include such things as:
. . . . . . LED lighting,
. . . . . . Weather-stripping,
. . . . . . Insulation, and
. . . . . . Replacing inefficient heating, and
. . . . . . Cooling systems.
“The poor are extremely energy inefficient,” said Rouse.
. . . “Low-cost housing will meet their housing needs,
. . . but it costs a lot to care for a house, and
. . . they end up paying a lot for electricity.
This is what we’re trying to correct.”
Some of the fixes are simple:
. . . . . . Repair holes,
. . . . . . Switch out lights, and
. . . . . . Seal openings in windows.
Others require some detective work.
Rouse remembers helping a disabled man,
. . . who was paying an energy bill for his 600 square-foot apartment,
. . . that was 3-times more than what Rouse was paying for his 3500 square-foot home.
The church’s team:
. . . . . . Insulated his water heater,
. . . . . . Switched out light bulbs,
. . . . . . Told him to wash his clothes in cold water, and
. . . . . . Bought new filters for the vent.
When that didn’t fix the problem,
. . . they just took a look at what he was doing.
It turns out the man was simply turning the heat button,
. . . to the least efficient setting.
05-20-2015 Source: Climate Warrior's