New Mexico News Connection - A statewide news service for New Mexico
Las Vegas, NM - It's National Weatherization Day, but many rural New Mexicans don't have much reason to celebrate. Local groups say weatherization programs aren't reaching households that need the help the most. As cold weather settles in on the Land of Enchantment, some local groups are using the day to highlight households that could use help sealing up their homes for winter, but have a hard time finding assistance.
Lloyd Goding is with Sustainable Las Vegas, and he says rural New Mexicans often have trouble accessing the weatherization programs they hear mentioned in the news, "We have a stock of older homes that need a lot of work to improve their energy efficiency. We don't have the resources, most of us, to even qualify for tax credits." He notes that programs should be put in place to help bridge those gaps, save money for those that need the most help and reduce carbon emissions. Goding's group, along with others (including the Sierra Club, Community Action New Mexico and Interfaith Power and Light) are holding an event today (Friday) in Las Vegas that includes an energy audit of a local church and a demonstration of weatherization measures on a home in town. The event begins at 10 am at St. Paul's Peace Episcopal Lutheran Church, Faith Hall (located in back of the church) 810 8th Street, Las Vegas, NM.
Kira Jones with Community Action New Mexico says weatherization and efficiency are among the best and easiest ways to reduce energy bills and climate change pollution, and there are many reasons the state's rural residents need help making those improvements, "Some of the state's highest poverty levels and extreme temperatures, and often very limited to none at all community-based resources for bill assistance."