Many older homes across Tennessee need energy-efficient upgrades their homeowners cannot afford, and Nashville Electric Service (NES) is introducing a program to address this urgent need. At the beginning of the new year, NES will launch the “Power of Change” program, in which all NES bills (both residential and commercial customers) will be rounded up to the nearest dollar.
The decision comes after the Davidson County Metro Council asked NES to create an opt-out “round up” program, where 100% of the funds collected will go directly into NES’ Home Uplift program for immediate distribution toward home improvement costs for qualifying homes. Requirements include but are not limited to income level, home ownership in NES service area and primary heating and cooling source is electric.
In partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Home Uplift program has provided efficiency upgrades for 400+ homes in Davidson County since its launch in 2018, which resulted in improvements of, on average, up $8,000 per home. Many of the homes that are in immediate need of these renovations are in low-income areas in both rural and urban communities. Without energy-efficient appliances, proper weatherization or adequate insulation, outdated appliances and HVAC systems can use an excessive amount of electricity, leaving these residents with high power bills month after month, year after year.
“Not having access to energy-efficient home upgrades contributes to the financial challenges many of our customers are already experiencing due to the impacts of the pandemic,” said Decosta Jenkins, NES President and CEO. “We created a program to respond to this need in a way that allows Middle Tennesseans to help make a big difference.”
Proceeds from the “Power of Change” program will go toward various home improvement costs, like air sealing, duct sealing/replacement, attic insulation, water heater and pipe insulation, wall insulation, HVAC clean and tune, HVAC replacement, windows and door replacement, heat pump water heater, refrigerator replacement, LED bulbs and low-flow showerheads.
Funding from the new program will ultimately provide home upgrades that improve quality of life and overall health. Homes that are well-heated, cooled and insulated properly help reduce colds and sickness, and studies show that those who live a healthy, comfortable life at home miss fewer days of work and school than those who are battling issues due to challenging living conditions.
“We are asking for pocket change from individual customers that will accumulate into millions of dollars in repairs and upgrades over time for customers who need it most,” added Jenkins. “With funding from ‘Power of Change,’ we can continue our commitment to home energy efficiency for all our customers seeking it.”
The program will take effect Jan. 1, 2022, which is when all NES customer bills will automatically be rounded up to the nearest dollar. The maximum amount a customer will donate is .99 cents per month or $ 11.88 per year. All are encouraged to participate in the program, but customers can make the decision to opt out at any time using two simple steps:
- Log into your NES account online at NESPower.com
- Switch the Power of Change toggle button to “off”
Customers may also call Customer Relations at (615) 736-6900 and follow the prompts to opt out through their account.
Nashville Electric Service (NES) is the 12th largest public electric utility in the nation, distributing energy to more than 420,000 customers in Middle Tennessee. For more information, visit nespower.com or nespowernews.com.