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Fri October 4, 2013

Rebuilding Together And EPA Helping Algiers Family

Energy-efficient appliances and simple home repairs will help an Algiers family on a fixed income.

An Algiers family will be getting free high-end energy-efficient appliances installed tomorrow by the nonprofit Rebuilding Together. The project managed to sidestep a government shutdown and Tropical Storm Karen.

Rebuilding Together of New Orleans was planning its annual October building projects when it was contacted by the Environmental Protection Agency. Over the summer the agency selected an Algiers family to receive new home appliances through its Energy Star program.

The EPA was planning to pitch in at the work site, and conduct workshops, but the government shutdown now prevents officials from traveling to New Orleans.

Rebuilding Together spokesman Jon Skvarka says volunteers on the other 21 October building projects may be rescheduled for a later weekend this month if Tropical Storm Karen arrives.

He says the Algiers project involves indoor work.

“We’ll be out there Saturday," he said. "Rain or shine.” 

Skvarka says the family had hired a contractor, but the work was so shoddy that it made the house leak even more. Energy bills hit $400 a month.

“I think the repairs we’re going to make — paired up with the generous donors of appliances — I think we’re really going to make an impact and really cut down on the utility costs to this homeowner," Skvarka said. "And show people that simple repairs, paired up with generous donors, we can really make and change our carbon footprint and change the energy bills for low-income homeowners.” 

He says the work will allow the homeowners living on a fixed retirement income to stay in the home they’ve had for the last 40 years.

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