As part of its ongoing efforts to help low-income residents, Entergy Arkansas has awarded grants totaling $7,500 to weatherize 15 homes in the Little Rock area this summer.
A $2,500 grant was awarded to YouthBuild, a youth and community development program designed for students at Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock studying for a career in construction. The students will weatherize five homes. The Central Arkansas Development Council received a grant of $5,000 to pay for storm doors, insulation and energy-efficient lights for 10 homes.
"This is an outstanding combination of local organizations that recognize the importance of energy conservation to the overall economic benefit of the state," said Entergy Arkansas President and CEO Hugh McDonald. "This is also a great opportunity for Entergy to follow through on our commitment to helping low-income customers with their energy bills."
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, weatherization can reduce an average home's energy costs by $358 annually. Weatherization includes caulking around windows and doors, replacing broken windows and replacing rotten boards around doors and windows.
McDonald said Entergy appreciates the effort from everyone in the community to make life easier for some of our customers.
"The City of Little Rock has been instrumental in helping to locate homes and families that would benefit the most from our weatherization efforts and the Department of Housing Urban Development continues to be a strong supporter of our weatherization efforts."
Larry Coburn, executive director of the Central Arkansas Development Council, praised Entergy for its commitment to low-income efforts and for supporting agencies like CADC.
"Weatherization is a proven, long-term, effective solution to reducing high energy costs," said Coburn. "There are many people in this area that are elderly on fixed income and find it difficult to find a contractor or even a handy person to fix problems on their homes. We are grateful for companies like Entergy who recognize and support our mission to improve the quality of life and build strong communities in Arkansas."
Dr. Dan F. Bakke, Pulaski Technical College president, said the college established the YouthBuild program three years ago in conjunction with the college's Construction Technology program to provide students with an opportunity to give back to the community and to offer hands-on training in a variety of construction fields.
"This partnership with Entergy will teach our students about the importance of conservation and how to make the homes they construct more energy efficient," Dr. Bakke said. "We are honored to be the recipient of an Entergy grant and are very grateful to Mr. McDonald and the Entergy team for their support and encouragement."
YouthBuild serves unemployed and undereducated young people ages 16-24 who work toward their GED or high school diploma while learning construction skills by building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people. Strong emphasis is placed on leadership development, community service and the creation of a positive mini-community of adults and youth committed to success.
Entergy Arkansas serves 670,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.