South Carolina Energy Conservation Corps
The Energy Conservation Corps has a dual mission of green workforce training and providing home weatherization repairs and upgrades to low-income households throughout Charleston County.
The weatherization process for retrofitting selected homes consists of several stages that ensure resources are applied in a prioritized manner to have the greatest overall impact on reducing energy bills. As a first step after a home is selected, a certified Home Energy Rater performs an energy audit to determine where a building is leaking and what practices and investments will best achieve maximum effect in sealing the building’s envelope. Each building receives a score based on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). The score is then interpreted by a certified professional and serves as a guide to direct ECC members in their weatherization priorities, allowing the team to develop a scope of work. Because funding is limited, it is important that resources are applied in a manner that will achieve maximum return on investment. Work is then performed by ECC members, often consisting of the installation of insulation, weather stripping, caulking and various other techniques used to “tighten” the building envelope. After the work is performed, another HERS test is performed to ensure efforts have been successful and have achieved a satisfactory result. It is not uncommon for these weatherizations to result in a 20-30% energy savings monthly.
Save Energy, Save Money
The overall goal of weatherizing a home is to reduce the necessary energy used to heat or cool a home. By reducing the amount of energy needed to heat or cool, residents pay less in utility expenses. This impact can be even greater in low and moderate income households where utilities can constitute as much as 30% or more of monthly income. By reducing these expenses, more expendable income is available for other necessities. For instance, a household with monthly utility expenses of $300 can save around $1080 a year in utility expenses by achieving a 30% reduction in energy costs.
The training that Energy Conservation Corps members receive serves as a valuable asset in attaining a job in the growing green workforce in the Charleston Metro area. Evolving from a trend to a necessity, retrofitting area housing stock to be more energy efficient has become a worthwhile investment and certified specialists are in high demand. Equipped with the skills to do just that, Energy Conservation Corps members graduate from the program a step ahead of the competition. Many ECC graduates will go on to work for contractors and builders, equipping homes to be more energy efficient and lower utility costs. Other ECC members will go on to pursue more technical skills and training to build upon a foundation of green building knowledge. Regardless, ECC members will graduate with the skills to join a field that is growing and needs a skilled workforce.
The ECC curriculum is based on the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Envelope Professional Training manual. ECC members are trained in weatherization techniques and are certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) as Insulation and Air Sealing Technicians. The curriculum helps members to develop a general understanding of thermal dynamics and the properties that affect climate control in local homes. Members are trained to understand the key aspects of energy efficiency, climate control and effective measures to improve the overall indoor quality through proper air sealing and insulation.
If you are motivated and want to learn new skills, Join Today!
Benefits of Americorps National Service:
- Serve Your Community and Help Your Neighbors.
- Learn Skills in the Green Building Industry. Americorps members receive an educational award.
- Learn State-Of-the-Art Weatherization Techniques
- Americorps members receive a living stipend during service.
- Americorps members receive an educational award.
For more infomation, contact Jay Bell at 843.747.5885 or email@example.com.
The ECC directs its efforts toward improving the energy efficiency of the residential portion of the built environment in the cities of Charleston and North Charleston, South Carolina. Outreach efforts are directed toward local area residents with low to moderate incomes and utility bills that constitute a significant portion of monthly income. In conjunction with the housing offices of both Charleston and North Charleston as well as City Development Block Grant (CDBG) offices, the ECC targets homes and families that will see a significant decrease in utility bills creating more expendable income for those households. Outreach efforts are geared toward identifying community residents whose income is stressed by higher than average monthly utility expenses. This is accomplished through an application process with income requirements and comparison of income to utility expense to identify ratios that are deemed excessive.
The Energy Conservation Corps is a partner program between The Sustainability Institute and Americorps, funded through grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Cities of Charleston and North Charleston. For more infomation, contact Jay Bell at 843.747.5885 or firstname.lastname@example.org.