East Arkansas Family wins $50,000 Energy Efficiency Home Makeover

Little Rock, Ark. — Aug. 7, 2012 — Lee and Berthella Thomas of Palestine, members of Woodruff Electric Cooperative, are the winners of the 2012 Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas $50,000 Energy Efficiency Makeover Contest.

The 1,800-square-foot home will receive comprehensive pre- and post-diagnostic energy audits, including a blower door test, duct blaster test and infrared thermography. The home will receive energy-saving transformations, including sealing the building envelope, a foam insulation encapsulated attic, a General Electric GeoSpring Hybrid water heater, Energy Star appliances, an ultra-efficient Water Furnace geothermal heating and cooling system, Harry G. Barr high-efficiency windows and high efficiency lighting.

Built in 1956, the one-level home has higher than normal levels of air infiltration. Under a blower door test, the home measured a rate of nearly 70 percent natural air exchanges per hour. This means 70 percent of the air within the home exchanges with outside air every hour. Unwanted and unmanaged air infiltration leads to an uncomfortable home with higher utility bills, said Bret Curry, manager of residential energy marketing for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

“The air leakage is related to older construction methods, poor windows, inadequate and improperly installed insulation and other building envelope penetrations,” Curry said. “Our goal is to install the latest in energy efficiency components to allow the Thomas family to enjoy a higher level of comfort in their home, while realizing a significant savings on their electricity bill.”

Approximately 2,000 applications were submitted for the contest. In addition to the grand-prize winner, 16 runners-up will receive high-efficiency GE Hybrid water heaters.

Winners of free GE Hybrid water heaters are:

  • Rhonda J. Fredrick, Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative of Ozark;
  • Frank Rawls, Ashley-Chicot Electric Cooperative of Hamburg;
  • Wesley Green, C & L Electric Cooperative of Star City;
  • Michael Babus, Carroll Electric Cooperative of Berryville;
  • Spring Young, Clay County Electric Cooperative of Corning;
  • James Holt, Craighead Electric Cooperative of Jonesboro;
  • Ron Hutchison, Farmers Electric Cooperative of Newport;
  • Arran Whitaker, First Electric Cooperative of Jacksonville;
  • McArthur Hampton, Mississippi County Electric Cooperative of Blytheville;
  • David Moore, North Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Salem;
  • Peggy Doherty, Ouachita Electric Cooperative of Camden;
  • Brian Persing, Ozarks Electric Cooperative of Fayetteville;
  • Nancy Vinnes, Petit Jean Electric Cooperative of Clinton;
  • Edward Piekert, Rich Mountain Electric Cooperative of Mena;
  • Brenda Barham, South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Arkadelphia, and;
  • Steve Sims, Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Texarkana.

The project’s major sponsors include: Doug Rye; WeatherBarr Windows of Fort Smith; General Electric Appliance, Lighting and Hybrid Water Heater divisions; Rood Heating and Air of Russellville; WaterFurnace Geothermal and BPSi Foam Insulation of Mountain Home.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides various services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 members, or customers, in Arkansas and surrounding states.

For additional information, contact:
Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or rroedel@aeci.com