By: Jason Frazer and Rob Polansky
DANBURY, CT (WFSB) – It was being called one of the largest housing authority energy efficiency projects in the state.
Hundreds of homes in Danbury for some of Connecticut’s neediest families were in line to get a makeover.
Connecticut Light & Power said one of the problems with the homes was that many of them were drafty during the winter. It said that’s because they just were not properly insulated.
Linda Duncan, a resident of the Danbury Housing Authority’s Mill Ridge Apartments, said the winter months can be downright chilly.
“We usually leave something at the bottom of the door to prevent the drafts from coming in,” she said.
Contractors have been helping to weatherize the homes.
“Anytime you see cobwebs, that means you have air come in from outside,” said John Ferguson, a contractor with the agency New Opportunities.
Ferguson said all 315 homes had the same problem.
“They were trying to warm up the air inside the house, but more cold air kept coming in the house so you’re just continuously heating and you never felt comfortable,” he said.
Since many residents were paying for their oil, they did not stay long.
“The Danbury Housing Authority was seeing a significant amount of turnover in these units,” said Enoch Lenge of CL&P.
However, several months ago, CL&P and its contractors started to fix the problem.
Wall and attic insulation was being added along with energy efficient lighting fixtures.
“We installed thermostats for the controls,” Ferguson said.
The program was made possible by the system benefits charge on customers’ electric bills.
“Every CL&P customer pays into this fund,” Lenge said. “It’s a small charge on your bill. The average is about $25 per year.”
“Any types of upgrades they’re going to do is going to be beneficial for the tenants,” Duncan said. “I’m hoping I’ll see a big decrease in my electric bill.”
When the project is completed, each customer can expect to save about $100 per month on their bill.
CL&P hopes to complete the project by the end of May.