Joliet homeowners receive silver certification for energy savings
JOLIET -- Georgene Jaback and Bob Woods, and Georgene’s mother, Janet Jaback, are No. 1, and their homes are more comfortable because of it.
Homeowners Georgene Jaback and Woods of Joliet, and Janet Jaback of Elmwood Park received the first Energy Star Silver Certificate in their respective counties. They were also the sixth and first in the state, respectively.
The certificate is awarded as part of the new program to homeowners who invest in qualified home energy upgrades that reduce energy use by at least 15 percent. To earn the certification, the improvements must follow Illinois Home Performance guidelines. The program is managed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.
It was a visit to Janet Jaback that got the Joliet twosome working toward the Silver Certificate. Georgene said her mother’s house was noticeably more comfortable. When she asked, Janet said she had energy improvements made to the house.
“That’s how I got the information,” said Georgene.
Georgene and Bob contacted Green Energy Improvement of Oak Park, the same home performance improvement company Janet used, and asked for an energy audit. The resulting efficiency upgrades on their Frederick Street home reduced the air leakage rate by 35 percent.
The improvements made at their home include:
- Air sealing in the attic, basement and perimeter walls;
- Insulation installed on attic floor;
- And insulation installed in conditioned basement.
The couple recently showed Will County Executive Larry Walsh and Mayor Tom Giarrante around the house, taking them to the basement to see the air sealing. Walsh presented the Silver certificate to the couple, and Giarrante gave them a proclamation from the city extolling what they have done.
The two men were impressed with the work and its results.
“Any time someone can save money and energy, it’s a good thing,” said Walsh. “I’d like to see more homes across Will County earn this designation, reducing the need for energy consumption.”
“Homeowners like Georgene and Bob are leading the way to a more environmentally conscientious future,” said Giarrante. “Joliet is proud to have them as residents.”
According to the Illinois Energy Office, the improvements will help the couple reduce their energy consumption by 17 percent and save the couple an estimated $238 on their annual utility bill. It will also improve the resale value of the home and allow it to be listed as a green and sustainable home on the Chicago-area Multiple Listing Service should they decide to sell.
While Jaback and Woods are happy with the energy savings, they also are enjoying the difference in the comfort of the more than 50-year-old house they have called home for seven years.
“I noticed the difference in my home right away,” said Georgene. “The floors are warmer. I can walk around in my bare feet now, even when it is cold out. It is even warm in my basement, which has been cold since the day I purchased my place.
“Surprisingly, it is also much more quiet in my home. When there was a thunderstorm… I could hardly hear the rain on the roof.”
Start the process
To begin the process, homeowners must first complete an online energy profile on www.illinoishomeperformance.org. Homeowners in the greater Chicago area are then referred to a list of 24 pre-approved contractors who can make the improvements.
The pre-approved contractors can perform an in-home energy audit and carry out the suggested improvements. Often the improvements can be completed in a day.
“A great thing about Illinois Home Performance is that is requires meticulous tests to be conducted before and after a job,” said Kimberly Radostits, Vice President of Green Energy Improvement. “Independent third party evaluators conduct these tests. The tests prove to homeowners like Georgene and Bob that their home is in fact more energy efficient than it was before.
“As a reputable contractor who uses state-of-the-art home performance equipment to do our work, we appreciate being held to this high standard. This is now our company’s fifth such award for homeowners in the state.”