A Yorkton single mother is on her way to a warmer and cheaper future thanks to the SaskEnergy Home Energy Legacy Program (HELP) co-sponsored by Habitat for Humanity.
Tracy Meadows lives with her 12-year-old daughter in a 1975 home in the southwest part of town. Every day, for years, she had to worry about whether her furnace would get her through another winter. When she heard about HELP, she attended the meeting, filled out the application and hoped.
“Of course, when Shannon [Doka, SaskEnergy community involvement leader] called me at home, I got off the phone and cried,” Meadows said. “It’s pretty cool. I’ve had a rough couple of years in my personal life in the last decade here, so it was like winning the little lottery, just from SaskEnergy and Habitat instead of Sask Lotteries.”
In addition to a brand-new high efficiency furnace, Meadows will receive a programmable thermostat, new water saving toilet and attic and basement insulation that will take her home from an R12 to R60 rating.
SaskEnergy partners M.L. Plumbing and Heating and Nehai Building Centre are providing the labour to install the furnace and toilet. Habitat and SaskEnergy are providing volunteers to install the insulation, which is donated by Magnus Insulation.
Four homeowners from the Yorkton area were chosen for this year’s HELP.
Suzanne and Stephen Poole, who were beneficiaries of the program last year, are already reaping the benefits.
“We were on equalized payments for our energy and I just recently phoned last week concerning that to ask them how things were going and because of the long winter they had projected something and we were under that projection,” Stephen said. “With the new furnace we came under their estimation. I’m not 100 per cent sure what that would mean, but we know that it saved us finances and definitely it’s warmer in the house with the R60.”
Doka said the program is designed not only to help worthy families.
“It’s a public awareness campaign,” she said. “We talk about energy efficiency programs throughout the province, so this is just another form of energy efficiency campaign awareness.”