Welcome to Our FAQ

Energy Savers Network Volunteers

Frequently Asked Questions

We have broken our frequently asked questions into three categories for volunteers, clients, and donors.

Volunteers

Where can I sign up to volunteer?

  • To receive weekly emails about opportunities to volunteer, sign up here. You can also view our online calendar and sign up for specific projects here. You can also sign up for any upcoming volunteer opportunities at the SignUp online tool without the need for registration. How convenient!
  • We also need volunteers to help with client recruitment, communications, administrative tasks, and other skilled areas. If you are interested, email us at info@energysaversnetwork.com and we’ll respond promptly.
  • We are excited to announce that “New Volunteer Orientation and Training” sessions are in the works for 2020. Look for the announcement by email or on the online calendar.

What can I expect on the day of the project? (location, duration, who is leading?, tasks, etc.)

  • When you sign up, either project leader or operations coordinator will get in touch with you about the logistics.
  • The location can be anywhere in Buncombe County including Leicester, Fairview, Arden, Weaverville, Woodfin, Black Mountain, Candler, etc.
  • Often team members meet to gather supplies and carpool at the Green Built Alliance office located by the address 378 W Haywood Road, Asheville, NC 28806. Or if you find it more convenient you may meet us at the project site.
  • Project workdays usually last 2-4 hours depending on the scope of work, number of volunteers, etc. If you have limited time you can leave early or arrive late. Just be sure you let us know beforehand.
  • We have a team of skilled project leaders, mostly volunteers. One of them will lead your project and will be responsible for organizing the tasks and communicating with the client. Team leaders walk you through the tasks and show you the location of all the tools and supplies. No prior experience is necessary.
  • To get familiar with what we do, please read over the Volunteer Orientation Sheet and Code of Conduct: Volunteer Orientation (2019).docx
  • Each home is different. Sometimes we do extensive work and other times only a few minor upgrades. Because of this, we don’t know the full scope of work till we get on site. Having a full volunteer team allows us to be most efficient and do the project in one day. We appreciate your willingness to volunteer and be flexible.

What types of energy-saving activities do we complete at clients’ homes?

We have a standard list of energy saving activities that include the following:

  • Replace old light bulbs with LED lights
  • Install energy and water saving water fixtures (showerheads, aerators)
  • Insulate water heaters and water heater piping with a blanket and pipe wrap.
  • Turn down water heaters when the temperature is too high.
  • Inspect and seal with mastic the connections between the duct system and the floor registers
  • Install furnace filters
  • Weather strip doors
  • Measure, build, and install custom  interior storm windows
  • Fix visible air infiltration sources with caulk, expandable foam, or minor carpentry
  • Install switch plate covers, seal window air conditioners, etc.
  • Perform a blower door test to determine the extent of air infiltration and then use the blower door to do more extensive fixing of sources of air infiltration.
  • Discuss ways the client can save energy through their habits, personal choices and smarter utilization of heating, cooling, or water heating systems..
  • Identify and discuss with client options to save energy that are beyond our scope but that they could pursue

What should I wear to a project?

  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Comfortable work clothes you don’t mind getting dirty or even possibly staining (i.e., with caulk or something similar)
  • We also recommend bringing a bottle of water with you

Do I need to bring any tools with me on project day?

  • You are welcome to bring your favorite tools but each project team is equipped with enough tools to get the job done, so do not worry if you do not have any.
  • Bring your personal headlamp. Those are always handy

Are there training materials or more information where I can learn about the different tasks I might be asked to do on project day? (i.e. weatherizing a door frame, changing air filters, etc.)

  • We are planning a series of “New Volunteer Orientation and Training” sessions, stay tuned.
  • Most of our volunteers in the past have learned on the job. The tasks may be new to you but they are not complex. You’ll be a valuable addition to the team!.
  • Also, review our Volunteer Orientation document. There is a link to a comprehensive Youtube video on DIY home energy-efficiency improvement.

Clients

How can I become an ESN client and get a team to come to weatherize my home?

  • Follow a link
  • Send an email
  • Call to make an appointment, 828- 585-4492

How do I qualify?

  • Must live in Buncombe County
  • If you rent, you must get approval from your landlord or sign a waiver to assume responsibility as the tenant for any changes we might make.
  • Your household income must fall within %200 of the federal poverty guideline. See 7 below for the current guidelines

What can I expect on project day? (i.e. what will the ESN team  be doing)

  • The team leader will call to confirm the day before. Please let us know as soon as possible if your plans change and please look for and return the team leader pre-workday call if you are not able to take the call at the time.
  • On the workday a   team of two-four people will come over at the scheduled time for two to four  hours.
  • The team leader will need to get some signatures and some additional information. Be ready to fill out some paperwork and provide a verification of income for each household member and a copy of the utility bill.  Even if you do not have these documents readily available we can still do the workday, but it helps ESN help more clients if we are able to.
  • The ESN team leader will assess your home to check  for areas for improvements such as: weather stripping doors,and windows, ,insulating  water heaters, replacing  water fixtures, changing  light bulbs , etc.
  • Let the team know if there are specific areas you do not want them to go in.
  • The team will install the measures identified that are within ESN scope of work
  • ESN team leader will share behavioral tips that will help to reduce energy use.
  • There may be a follow up visit that we schedule (such as to install interior storm windows) or we may recommend that you follow up with other agencies for more extensive repairs or energy saving that are beyond our scope.

What is expected of me on the project day?

  • Please secure your pets, we do not want to be responsible if they run out while we move in and out of the house with the supplies.
  • If you are a smoker, please, consider waiting to smoke till the team is done or smoke outside. Thanks for your consideration.
  • Prepare the paperwork to be collected by the team leader.
  • Copy of the Utility Bill
  • Most recent income proof for the household (Disability letter, SSI letter, Tax returns)
  • Ask as many questions as you’d like. We appreciate it when clients are actively asking questions about their home’s energy use.
  • Be present as much of the time as possible and interact with the team leader so you understand what we are doing and why. It will help avoid any  misunderstandings.

What is the best way to heat or cool my home?
The closer your indoor temperature is to outside air temperatures, the lower your bills will be. Recommended settings:

  • Summer: 78 F when home, increase 2-4 F when away
  • Winter: 68 F when home, lower 2-4 F when away
  • Do not “crank up” the AC or heat. If you’d like to raise or lower the temperature, do it 1-2 F at a time, not 3- 5 F.

How do I clean the air filter ESN gave me?

  • Brush the collected dust off and/or spray it with the water in the bathtub and wait till it is completely dry before putting it back it.
  • Make sure that the rough side of the filter faces the air flow. Secure it well in the frame, to ensure there are no gaps around for the dust to enter.

What are the income qualification guidelines for 2020?
The following table shows the maximum income depending on the number of people in your household.

Income Qualifications for Energy Assistance

Clientes (en español)

¿Cómo me registro?

Visite www.energysaversnetwork.com o contacte a yulia@energysaversnetwork.com para hacer una cita nos llaman a 828-585-4492 o envíenos a: info@energysaversnetwork.com

Para calificar:

  • Debe vivir en el condado de Buncombe
  • Vivir en una casa unifamiliar o casa móvil
  • Recibir asistencia gubernamental O que el ingreso familiar sea del 200% de las pautas federales de pobreza o más bajo

Directrices de ingresos del 2020:
Income Qualifications for Energy Assistance

Donors

Does donating to Energy Savers Network help slow the disastrous impact of the climate crisis?

YES! By donating to Energy Savers Network, you directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by helping income-qualified neighbors reduce energy use. Many of our neighbors are struggling to meet day to day expenses and are not equipped to easily make the investments to reduce energy use that we can make on our visits, by supporting ESN you positively impact both Climate Justice and Socio-economic Justice.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

YES!  Energy Savers Network is a project of the Green Built Alliance, which is a tax-qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit, so all donations are eligible for tax deductions.

Are corporate sponsorships available?

COMING! Please let us know if you own a business or organization (such as a church). We are developing a corporate sponsorship program and would love to talk.

Meanwhile you can encourage your employees to come volunteer with us. Throughout the year, we partner with many volunteer groups from local businesses.

How can I make my donation by check?

Please make your check to “Energy Savers Network” and mail it to “Green Built Alliance, PO Box 17026, Asheville, NC 28816.”

How can I donate by credit card?

Go to the ESN website www.energysaversnetwork.com and click “Donate” OR follow this link:  https://www.greenbuilt.org/donate/ and be sure to click the box at the bottom “Check this box for donations intended for Energy Savers Network.