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Green Park Rapids aids homeowners with energy needs

Green Park Rapids has several new opportunities for homeowners to save money on energy improvements.

The organization has been working to help Park Rapids residents save money by making "green" choices.

The city of Park Rapids has teamed up with the Center for Energy and Environment, the Mahube Community Council, Minnesota Energy and Minnesota Power through a grant from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund to offer Park Rapids homeowners a full service residential energy program as a part of the Green Park Rapids initiative.

Park Rapids homeowners and their entire family are invited to attend the free workshop at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16 at the Hubbard County Courthouse. Childcare will also be provided. Residents need to RSVP for the workshop by contacting Ashley Robertson at the Center for Energy and Environment at 612-335-5869 or arobert

Along with the free workshop, the program will provide homeowners with the opportunity to schedule a customized home energy visit from qualified professionals, who will install energy saving materials and perform a blower door test, which will measure for air leaks in the home. The home energy visit is offered for a co-pay of $40.

Participants will also receive information on financing and access to specialized rebates, which are available only to program participants.

The Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Park Rapids is also taking applications for the energy audits and major appliance upgrades.

Those who wish to apply for the Major Appliance Upgrade Grant Program must first complete the energy audit. Grant funds may not be used to reimburse property owners for audits that were completed prior to the availability and receipt of the Residential Energy Program Grant application.

The intent of the Energy Star Major Appliance Upgrade Grant Program is to reduce energy use and offset the cost of the following Energy Star rated appliances: clothes washer, refrigerator, gas or electric water heater and dishwasher (replacement only).

The energy audit and other resources will help to identify which appliance will decrease energy usage. Any old appliance that is replaced by the grant program must be removed from the household and recycled.

For more information on the energy and appliance upgrade grants contact Sharon Voyda, HRA of Park Rapids executive director, at 732-4158.

Technical assistance and financial support for the program is provided by several entities, including the Office of Energy Security, Minnesota Department of Commerce; Minnesota Housing Partnership; Minnesota Energy Resources; and Minnesota Power.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561