Thursday, October 29, 2009

Furnace Replacement Program Will Help Low Income Families With Energy Efficiency

By: Alicia Schuller, Marketing Coordinator, NHS of Baltimore

The Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) announced last week that it will launch the Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) Heating System Fund beginning in November, which will provide newer, more energy efficient furnaces to low income families in Baltimore.Income eligibility will be determined by the requirements set by the Maryland Weatherization Assistance Program. BGE contributed $1 million to start the program in collaboration with BCF and hopes it will teach families "how to use their resources efficiently and significantly curb energy-wasting habits".

Making "green" options available to low income families and individuals is becoming increasingly important. According to research conducted by NHS of Baltimore, 56% of neighborhoods with median incomes at or below $30,000 have homes that were built prior to 1950. Older appliances are already less energy efficient but as they age, they become even less efficient, creating greater costs for the homeowner. Although switching to these new appliance saves the homeowner money in the long run, the up-front cost can be quite extensive, which many lower income families cannot afford.

Programs like BCF's furnace replacement program provide the opportunity these families to to make the change to more efficient household appliances. If you are interested in applying for the program, contact the Baltimore Housing Weatherization Program by calling 311 or 443-984-1066 weekdays between 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, or visit To read more details on the program, click here. Don't forget, the program begins in November.