Home makeover shows are a popular reality television genre and a guilty pleasure for many of us. Who doesn’t enjoy watching a deserving family get the home of their dreams, giving them the chance to live happily and healthily?
For a few Mississippi residents, reality TV has become a reality.
Over the last 18 months, 4-County Electric Power Association has been doing some hard work on the homes of 200 Golden Triangle residents through a program called the Extreme Energy Makeover Program, which seeks to perform some much needed upgrades on residents’ homes.
One of those residents is Lula Mae Howard. She spoke with WCBI and said she found out about the work program on, where else, TV.
“My house needed some work done to it so I decided I would call that number and check and see and I got approved,” said Howard.
While the program doesn’t provide a complete home makeover, it does help people who need expensive home improvements. For instance, Howard needed help fixing her air conditioning unit, a project that can set homeowners back thousands of dollars. The unit had been having such terrible issues that it was causing her light bill to go through the roof.
Ronnie Vernon, the marketing specialist with 4-County, spoke with WCBI about Howard’s project.
“It was an all electric system that was consuming a whole lot of electricity,” Vernon said. “Her duct work was very leaky, and we actually brought her unit out of the attic, put it down in the closet, redid all of our duct work, air-sealed her house, and duct sealed all of her duct work, and then added attic installation.”
In the United States, 90% of new homes have ducted heating and cooling units installed. They are necessary for heating and cooling units to work properly, which is essential in southern states like Mississippi. As soon as the home project was completed, Howard said she immediately saw a difference in her quality of life.
Howard’s electric bill went from being $200 per month to only being around $100. That’s a huge difference. Matthew Dykes, who upgraded more than 50 homes, commented on the money savings.
“With the utility bill being cut down, that gives them extra money to go to the grocery store and put it back into the local economy instead of overpaying an electric company,” Dykes said.
Over the past year and a half, 4-County Electric Power Association has made upgrades and improvements to 265 homes.