By Julie Ray
Dr. Jeffrey and Nicole Wright live in midtown Memphis in a 4500 square foot rambling two story home built in 1900. When the opportunity came along for the couple to create an energy efficient home through the Sierra Club’s Healthy Energy Campaign, a statewide initiative that advocates the Tennessee Valley Authority set 1percent annual energy efficiency standard, Bartlett’s Neighborhood Pro Builders, Inc. was hired to do the job.
Neighborhood Pro Builders, Inc. has been involved in a number of energy saving projects. Owner, David Trentlage, even used his own home as a case study for energy efficiency. The thought behind Pro Builders cost saving technique is that energy efficiency doesn’t have to be costly. Many times it is the small things that count. And the results are in with over 65 energy efficiency projects completed. Pro Builder’s customers have received over $40,000 in TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) rebates, over $95,000 in Federal tax credits, and monthly MLGW savings of up to 54 percent.
Pro Builder’s, the contractor was responsible for energy efficiency upgrades at the Wright’s home, most of which included proper sealing. For instance, multiple openings at the first floor to basement was sealed to prevent air leakage. Proper sealing throughout the home actually resulted in 56 percent envelope air leak reduction. Another upgrade performed by Pro Builders was a complete HVAC system three-duct seal implementation for defects. The result was 72 percent duct leak reduction. Plumbing and insulation upgrades as well as moisture barrier resulted in the Wright’s observation that allergy symptoms were eliminated, the house cools to 75 degrees and systems shut off, drafts and hot/cold areas are eliminated, home is quieter and the power bill was reduced by over 25 percent.
Keven W. Routon, vice chair of the Tennessee chapter of the Sierra Club was on hand with his wife, Susan Routon, program chair and treasurer of the Tennessee chapter of the Sierra Club for the open house. Susan said that she has already been contacted by at least one Bartlett educator who would like to get the students involved in energy efficiency education and activities. Bartlett is already known for leading the way with programs like the Team Green Zone, a sustainable energy efficiency resource initiated out of the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce.