Neil Kelly Designers/Remodelers, in Portland, Ore. has been selected as one of eight local contractors qualified to implement Phase II of Portland’s Clean Energy Works pilot program. Brian McVay, vice president/general manager of the company’s Home Performance division says the company found out about the pilot program through the Energy Trust of Oregon, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Oregon citizens benefit from saving energy and tapping renewable resources. “We are a trade ally and they let us know we should apply,” he says.
The goal of the program is to establish how homeowners can use the energy-savings to help cover the cost of the upgrades or to allow homeowners to access low-interest, long-term financing for quick and affordable energy-efficient investments. Phase II will help 50 local residents reduce carbon emissions and cut household energy use. It’s part of a larger plan by Clean Energy Works to upgrade 500 Portland homes before moving the full-scale program to the entire community. Clean Energy Works has applied for federal stimulus funds from ARRA to take this project state-wide.
McVay says seven other contractors are involved with Phase II. “We are the only general contractor in the mix. The other companies are single-line window companies or weatherization companies,” McVay says. Neil Kelly will work on 12 projects in this phase. The company was also involved in the first phase, where it audited and used energy-saving practices on five houses. He says the crew at Neil Kelly Home Performance are experienced with weatherization and will include before and after testing to prove the energy savings. Clean Energy Works is taking its time to set up each stage. “They’re figuring it out for more efficiency, better recording data and offering better services and slowly ramping up to perfection,” he says. McVay says a full-fledged program would not just keep Neil Kelly’s Home Performance division busy, but it could create 10,000 jobs. “When we can do things like this, we create living wage jobs, create revenue for businesses to keep them active in this economy, and save money for homeowners. It’s a triple bottom-line that benefits society, the environment, and the economy,” McVay says.
--Nina Patel, Senior Editor, REMODELING