What is Button Up?
The long answer is that BUTTON UP is a retrofit insulation program designed to reduce demand for electric energy through a series of weatherization techniques that improve the thermal integrity of residential structures by reducing heat loss.
The short answer is that it's an insulation program that saves you money!
Here's how it works. If your home is served by Nolin RECC, is at least two years old and uses electricity as the primary source of heat, you're a candidate.
Simply call Nolin and tell them you want to BUTTON UP. We will then make arrangements for trained personnel to conduct an energy audit of your home. This audit determines how much heat is lost from your home through floors, walls, ceilings, doors, windows and other areas that allow heat to escape. This heat loss is measured in British thermal units, or BTU's .
The audit also points the way to options that can help reduce some of that heat loss with insulation, caulking, weather-stripping and other weatherization techniques
Now, here's where the fun begins -- that part about saving money. For every 1,000 BTU's of heat loss reduced, Nolin will pay you a rebate of $40, up to a total of $520. The total amount you receive will depend on how successful you are in reducing heat loss.
As an example, insulation and caulking added to a test home in Central Kentucky cost $1,187 (including installation). The added insulation reduced heat loss by 13,000 BTU's . The cooperative incentive was $520, or $40 for each 1,000 BTU's reduced. So the consumer's total expense to upgrade the insulation was only $667. But the savings don't stop there.
Remember, now you will save money on your electric bill because your home is more energy-efficient. In the test home, which had an electric furnace, energy savings figured out to be more than $285 per year. In about two-and-a-half years, the entire cost of the insulation upgrade will be offset through energy savings. (Actual savings depend on total heat loss of the home and the heating system used.)
When you factor in the added comfort the insulation brings to you and your family, BUTTON UP is even more attractive. In addition, some coops offer low-interest financing for the insulation you purchase.
O.K. Now the big question we know you're dying to ask. Why would an electric utility offer an incentive for someone to use less of its product?
It has to do with being better stewards of the energy produced today. Heat that escapes as a result of poor insulation is simply a waste of today's precious resources. By making your home more energy-efficient, the entire utility becomes more efficient.
Also, reducing current energy requirements curtails the need for future generating capacity. It's less expensive for everyone -- including you, the consumer -- to pay an incentive today that reduces demand, than it will be to build an expensive power plant in the years to come.
What do you do next? Look through the booklet "Insulating for Comfort and Savings." It shows you a number of ways you can improve the energy-efficiency of your home. Then call your co-op for an energy audit. After the audit is completed, the co-op representative will work with you to design specific steps you can take to BUTTON UP!