© Aaron Stuckel
Volunteers put together a deck at the Schanoski residence early Wednesday morning.
It’s been a whirlwind week for Corina Schanoski, a single mother in Moose Jaw with three children, and one that she is likely not to forget.
Schanoski, as well as three other homeowners in Moose Jaw, is receiving energy efficiency upgrades to her home as a result of a partnership between SaskEnergy and Habitat for Humanity.
“We’ve done the Home Energy Efficiency program for five years, and we thought we should do something a bit different,” said Shannon Doka, community involvement leader with SaskEnergy. “So we thought, ‘Let’s try an energy efficiency makeover.’”
It was then that they approached Habitat for Humanity for help in creating the Home Energy Legacy Program (HELP).
“SaskEnergy came to us and asked if we would be interested in helping them out with the project because there are lots of people who own their own home but have not necessarily escaped the cycle of poverty,” said Dennis Couttsceo from Habitat for Humanity Regina. “We kind of thought it was a way for us to give back because SaskEnergy has been a supporter of Habitat over the years.”
In 2011, seven homes in Regina and Saskatoon received upgrades as a result of the HELP pilot, and it has saved the homeowners 30 per cent on energy bills. So this year, they decided to expand to Moose Jaw.
In December, members from both organizations held an information session in the city to find partner families.
“It was one of those nice little blustery nights and we had about 65 people come out,” said Doka.
From there, applications went through a private series of deliberations, with decisions on recipients based on needs. In late April, the four homeowners received the news that they would be receiving up to $10,000 of energy efficient upgrades. Schanoski said she still can’t believe it.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of TImes-Herald.