I am back working for the Community Conservation Corps for the summer and we have got a lot planned in the next couple of months. The Community Conservation Corps (CCC) is an organization within the Shi Center ran by Andy Wallin, an AmeriCorps volunteer. The CCC weatherizes homes in under-served community around Greenville. Weatherization is a term used by energy efficiency community that translates to making a house more energy efficient. So far I have spent about 5 months working 10 hours a week for the CCC over the school year. Now I am working full time and am really getting to know how this organization is managed. I will be able to attended more weatherizations and audits this summer, thus fueling a growing interest in sustainable development.
My job as a data analyst is to compare the energy bills of our clients before and after a weatherization. I have a lot to look forward to since we will be receiving a large chunk of data from our clients very soon. Andy and I recently sent in around 30 disclosure forms to Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas. Now I will be waiting anxiously to receive the data. Once received, I plan on doing an in-depth analysis of metric tons of CO2 avoided from our clients. This data is crucial because we can take the total amount of metric tons of CO2 avoided and transfer that information into carbon credits. Being that Furman is planning on going carbon neutral by 2026, I believe the CCC is a great stepping stone for achieving carbon neutrality. However, if we want to make this possible we will have to go through the process of getting the credits approved.
I would have to admit that I am most excited for the upcoming weatherizations in the coming months. I have learned a lot from the two weatherizations that I attended during the school year. It is so interesting how the smallest changes like caulking can have such profound impacts on a house’s energy efficiency. Caulking is the process of filling small cracks, usually found along window and door frames, with a putty-like substance. Larger projects like installing vapor barriers and blowing insulation into the attic are common processes that take place during weatherizations. At the last weatherization I had the opportunity to build a new insulated attic hatch. Ben, who works at Habitat for Humanity, gave me step by step instructions on how to properly build the hatch and by the end of the day we had a great looking and environmentally friendly attic hatch door ready to be installed!
Through the next coming months, I am hoping to expand my knowledge that I have obtained from these two weatherizations. We have some clients next in line for weatherization this summer who I believe will have some remarkable results. Can’t wait to see what happens!