Handyman program helps seniors save energy » Yale Climate Connections

Many older people want to live independently. However, this can be difficult if you can no longer afford basic maintenance.

“These are people who … deserve to age in the community they really helped build,” said Theresa Collins, COO of Senior Services Plus.

The Illinois nonprofit has a handyman program that offers seniors subsidized home repairs.

And when workers visit a home, they also help customers take advantage of the energy efficiency programs offered by utility Ameren Illinois.

For example, customers can get more efficient shower heads, LED lights or smart thermostats.

According to Collins, the benefits go beyond lower utility bills.

“When you think of energy efficiency, you often think of dollars, but it really is so much more than that,” she says.

For example, a customer was having trouble shaving safely in their poorly lit bathroom, so a worker installed new lights that were bright and efficient.

“It has had such an impact, not just on the fact that he was able to maintain his personal attention, but also on his pride,” says Collins.

She says that improving energy efficiency can make people’s lives better.

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Credit: Stephanie Manuzak / ChavoBart Digital Media.

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