Pima County weatherization program could save you money

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Hundreds of thousands of homeowners paying energy bills they can barely afford could be paying less, and don't even know it.

A picture rocks woman used to be one of those people, but Wednesday her house was weatherized.

Many people's homes have problems, Joyce Kotzamanis' is no exception, "On one half of my house it was like always cold and one half of my house was really warm from in the winter when I'd have the heat furnace on."

No matter what she did, the temperature in her house was always extreme. She didn't think much about it until her health became more of an issue, "My fibromyalgia and I have my screwed up back and I've got arthritis, and..."

And several months ago she developed asthma.

Joyce says she hasn't had much luck in life, but Wednesday was her lucky day. Wednesday Joyce's home underwent weatherization. Through Pima County's Neighborhood Development Conservation Department, Joyce's climate system was fixed, for free, "They did the furnace, the air conditioning, they fixed the stove, they even fixed my kitchen sink for me."

Hundreds of thousands of homeowners in arizona are eligible for the same type of assistance. Most just don't know about the weatherization program. Homeowners eligible for the program not only get a new climate system in their home -- their energy bills go down.

"This is just a Christmas present that I wasn't expecting," says Joyce.

"Very satisfying, very gratifying to see that we... actually helped a family save energy be comfortable... and it gives them a sense of pride," says Housing Rehabilitation Specialist Jesus Duran.

Weatherization has changed Joyce's life -- maybe even prolonged it.

Joyce couldn't be happier, "And there's so many people out here who need it and I'm so glad that they've got this and i hope by me doing this interview that other people will hear about this."

For more information on visit Pima County's weatherization program on-line, http://www.pima.gov/ced/cdnc/CRD/HomeRepair.html  

The City of Tucson also has a weatherization program.