Powering Strong Communities
Energy Efficiency

JEA Works With Local Groups on Project Focused on Energy Efficiency Home Repairs

Jacksonville, Florida-based public power utility JEA is working collaboratively with a number of local organizations on a project involving energy efficiency home repairs in a Jacksonville neighborhood.

To reduce energy consumption and make critical repairs to homes in Jacksonville’s Historic Eastside, a federal Department of Energy grant will allow more than 70 homeowners to participate in the new Restore, Repair and Resilience Program, JEA noted.

LIFT JAX, the Historic Eastside Community Development Corporation (HECDC), LISC, University of Florida’s FIBER Labs, United Way of Northeast Florida, JEA and the City of Jacksonville are working collaboratively to promote energy efficiency and reduce emissions, JEA said.

Following a successful 15-participant pilot, the program will determine eligible homes based on several factors, including high energy usage, homeownership and condition of the home.

Once selected and the resident agrees to participate, JEA will conduct a home energy audit using a blower door test, thermal imaging and other health and safety testing to pinpoint issues that waste energy, increase utility bills and make the home unhealthy for residents.

Following the analysis, JEA and its community partners will implement upgrades with a goal of achieving a 15-20% reduction in overall utility bills for each home annually.

“These energy efficiency upgrades don’t simply lead to reduced utility bills. The measures can improve indoor air quality and provide an improved quality of life,” JEA Chief Customer Officer Sheila Pressley said. “That’s important for the fabric of Jacksonville’s neighborhoods.”

Earlier this year, the City of Jacksonville announced it was awarded an $845,350 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant  Program. This grant will support efforts to conduct energy audits and weatherization repairs that lower utility bills in partnership with JEA and community-based organizations like LIFT JAX and the HECDC.

“OutEast has a special place in Jacksonville’s history as one of our oldest neighborhoods and a center of Black economic, social, and cultural vitality. That’s why we are proud to be collaborating with our many partners on the Eastside Restore, Repair, and Resilience Program,” said Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan. “This funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is supporting our commitment to the Eastside community, housing, and sustainability.”

In addition to energy and water efficiency upgrades in partnership with JEA, community partners including LIFT JAX, LISC and the HECDC will continue efforts making critical repairs for legacy homeowners in the neighborhood, enabling them to remain in safe, stable housing.

The program has repaired nearly 70 homes to date and the organizations plan to renovate hundreds more in the coming years. These repairs include work such as building new porches, roof and ceiling repairs, bathroom updates and more.

“The Historic Eastside is a special neighborhood recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and Florida Main Street,” said David Garfunkel, President & CEO of LIFT JAX. “Many homeowners in the neighborhood have lived in their homes for generations. This program encourages preservation that is led by residents so they can prosper in place for years to come.”

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