National Weatherization Day celebrated

| October 31, 2017

Representative Larry Householder (right) presented Mike Stephens (left), Kno-Ho-Co’s executive director, with a commendation celebrating the accomplishments of the weatherization program. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Justin and Elissa Larr were more than happy to welcome the crowd of business professionals, government officials and community members who gathered for the National Weatherization Day to their home.

The Larrs were part of an Oct. 30 open house planned by Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland Community Action Commission to celebrate its home weatherization program.

“It took a lot for me to swallow my pride and go down there for the program,” Justin said. “I came from a family where you don’t put a hand out. You give.”

Once he started talking to folks involved with the program he learned that there was no need to worry about pride. The program was designed to help people who qualified for assistance.

“It’s been a wonderful experience working with everybody and they’ve been a pleasure to have in my home,” Justin said.

Elissa agreed with Justin.

“They were awesome to work with,” she said. “If there were any problems they fixed them.”

The Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD) is Kno-Ho-Co’s funding source and partner for its home weatherization assistance program. Multiple funding sources are often found to help with projects at clients’ homes. For the Larr home they were able to find funding sources to help with several projects including a furnace replacement, gutters, insulation and a hot water heater update.

“I really can’t say thank you enough,” Justin said. “They’ve done a lot more for us than a thank you can express.”

He and Elissa said they have already seen a difference in their home.

“We used to have the furnace set at 72 and now we are sweating at that,” Justin said.

According to Kno-Ho-Co’s 2016 annual report, “The home weatherization assistance program improves energy efficiency of low-income dwellings using the most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the housing industry. Families must be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Clients, on average, see a 23 percent reduction in primary heating fuel use.”

“The weatherization program is something we are very, very proud of here in Ohio,” said Representative Larry Householder, who also spoke at the event. “Since 1975, 100,000 homes have been weatherized and that’s had a huge economic impact on Ohio. That’s money that can be reinvested into communities.”

COAD includes 17 community action agencies that serve 30 counties in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio. They also provide highly-trained workers for the weatherization program.

“They are trained professionals,” said Ron Rees, executive director of COAD. “It’s not something that just anyone can come in and do.”

Mike Stephens, Kno-Ho-Co’s executive director, also praised the weatherization crews.

“They are the unsung champions of the program,” he said. “They are up in hot attics during the summer and freezing crawl spaces in the winter, run into snakes, mice, pets and other unexpected animals.”

Tom Calhoun, COAD’s housing program manager, said he believes Ohio’s weatherization program is the best in the country and he plans to get more community members involved with the program to help provide safe, efficient housing for people.

After the presentations, those in attendance were able to tour the Larr home and view demonstration of the various weatherization and energy efficiency measures Kno-Ho-Co completes for residents.

For more on the weatherization program, call Kno-Ho-Co at 740-622-9801 or stop by the office at 120 N. Fourth St.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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