Improving Quality of Life as Well as Reducing Energy Use

Volunteers from Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines, the local affiliate of the nation's largest nonprofit organization working to preserve affordable homeownership, and the American Petroleum Institute gathered today to help improve an elderly couple's quality of life, as well as reduce their energy use and save money as part of an energy-efficient rebuild of their home.

The rebuild is part of the Energy Efficient Homes Initiative, a national partnership between Rebuilding Together and America's oil and natural gas industry, which incorporates energy efficiency into home renovations for low-income homeowners nationwide, many of whom are elderly, disabled or have young children. The energy-efficient modifications, which include new ENERGY STAR windows, caulking and weather stripping, along with exterior and interior renovations will help reduce the homeowners' heating and cooling bills, and ultimately help preserve their homeownership.

"Our combined efforts have an ongoing, positive impact on homeowners in our neighborhood and across the country," said Lori McCombs, executive director of Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines. API's support enables us to help improve the quality of life for many deserving homeowners who can now live more comfortably, safely and use less energy."

"America's oil and natural gas industry practices energy efficiency every day within its operations, so we know the significant value of such a commitment," said John Kerekes, central region director of the American Petroleum Institute. "We are delighted to partner with Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines in this outstanding initiative. Our efforts will help provide the homeowner with the dual benefit of saving energy and money."

Today, Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines is renovating Raymond and Frank Koontz's home with energy-efficient modifications. Frank Koontz, a veteran of two wars, has undergone heart valve and knee replacement recently and also suffers from cancer.

The Koontzes have lived in their home since 1957 and have done their best to maintain their home but have exhausted their funds.

"There are no words," said Frank. "We've really been blessed."

"These improvements will allow us to live more comfortably in our home, while saving money," he added.

Since 2005, the Initiative has expanded its reach, doubling the number of rebuilds conducted nationwide and affording homeowners the ability to save as much as 30 percent on monthly energy bills, thanks to a variety of energy-efficient techniques incorporated into their homes. The Initiative is an additional component of Rebuilding Together which is celebrating 20 years, having revitalized more than 100,000 homes and non-profit facilities with the help of millions of volunteers in communities across America.

In addition to making homes more energy-efficient, the Initiative also provides homeowners, volunteers and others with materials and information with recommendations on how to preserve energy now and in the future.

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