SCE&G hopes to replicate a program that would make as many as 250 homes in northern Beaufort County more energy efficient -- at no cost to the homeowners.
The Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Program already is in place in other areas, such as Columbia, and program manager Gerald Freeman said he would like Beaufort's to be up and running by late August.
Working with planners in the city of Beaufort and town of Port Royal, SCE&G has identified lower-income neighborhoods where the improvements may be most useful to residents.
In Beaufort, that's a part of downtown that starts at the corner of Boundary and Charles streets and zig-zags to Ribaut Road and King Street.
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In Port Royal, the Casablanca and the Fort Frederick areas are being considered.
"This is not random," said Brad Samuels of SCE&G. "This is very detailed and has to do with income."
Households that participate will be visited by a team that will evaluate a home's needs. The team will then install as many as 15 CFL lightbulbs, insulation for electric water heaters or hot-water pipes, HVAC air filters, smart-power electrical strips, and window winterization kit, Freeman said. The team will also check the water heater temperature and adjust it.
Residents will then be taught about energy usage and how to further decrease their monthly costs, he said.
Kick-off events will be planned for late August so residents can learn about the program, Freeman added. Direct mail, door hangers and door-to-door visits might also be used to get the word out.
"Tell your neighbors," he said. "Let them know we're coming and we want to install these measures in your home."
During a presentation Tuesday, Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling advised Freeman to work with neighborhood associations to improve the program's reach.
"This is not a neighborhood where a stranger knocks on a door and is received," he said. "A lot of people there don't take to having a stranger come into your house, but if you have someone from the neighborhood association who is known, they might."
Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Chief Sammy Negron said the department wants to piggy-back on the program and use it as an opportunity to install free smoke detectors and give out fire extinguishers. The department already has a program in place to provide those items free of charge to residents. For information about the fire prevention program, call 843-525-7055
For information about the SCE&G Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Program, call 1-855-342-8548.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.