Portland’s Community Energy Project Using New Infrared Camera to Detect Home Energy Leaks, Conserving Energy and Money For Those Who Need It Most

Thanks to a grant from the Advantis Credit Union GROW Community Fund, the organization is using new technology to serve more low-income homeowners

PORTLAND, OR (April 22, 2013) – For some, the last burst of seasonal chill can mean the difference between paying one higher heating bill and buying groceries. For the past 30 years, Community Energy Project has been helping to alleviate the sting of inefficient home heating. Through education and free energy assessments and upgrades on home weatherization for low-income and disabled people, the organization has been eliminating energy waste for the community’s most needy. Now, their outreach has just been accelerated with the purchase of an infrared camera, the latest in detection technology that diagnoses heat loss thanks to a grant from Advantis Credit Union. Now Community Energy Project can be more efficient with their time pursuing their ultimate goal of energy efficiency and helping more clients.

The high-tech camera pinpoints energy-related problems that the Community Energy Project can resolve by creating customized solutions—home by home. The camera measures temperatures and allows a look into walls to assess potential opportunities for efficiency and improvement. Nooks and crannies are identified where heat can escape, and additional issues detected are home sealing, moisture problems and wiring. After a home has been analyzed, Community Energy Project develops a custom prescription, which can include insulation and ventilation upgrades as well as safety and health upgrades.

The organization acknowledges that without the gift from Advantis’ GROW Community Fund, this revolutionary technology would be unaffordable and out of their reach:  “Our work is to assess how a house breathes,” says Brian McVay, Director, Community Home Performance, Community Energy Project. “We find pathways to improvements and now with the infrared camera, we are able to assess more houses and help more low-income families become energy efficient—that puts money back into their pockets for life’s other essentials—like food. Many of those we serve are living that close to the edge.”

Check out the video interview with McVay.

According to the Community Energy Project, over 100,000 houses in the Portland area are in need of some type of energy upgrade. One of the goals of the Community Energy Project is to make energy efficiency available to everybody regardless of ability to pay. In addition, the group offers community home performance products and services for purchase by consumers.

Advantis Credit Union developed their GROW Community Fund in 2011 to assist Portland area non-profits with their missions of helping some of the most vulnerable in the community. By creating an annual fund of $50,000 to bolster small- and medium-sized non-profits with grants up to $10,000, organizations like Community Energy Project can put into motion their plans to serve more people in the community.

About Advantis
Advantis Credit Union, with $1 billion in assets, is one of Oregon’s largest member-owned not-for-profit, financial cooperatives with over 50,000 members and five branches in the Portland metro area.  Advantis is one of the oldest credit unions in Oregon, serving the Portland metro area for 85 years. Membership in Advantis is open to anyone who lives or works in  23 counties in Oregon, including: Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, or Yamhill counties in Oregon and anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in the state of Washington.

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