Columbia, S.C., Oct. 22, 2004 - Four South Carolina families recently received some comforting news. Next week, South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G) and its employees will spend four days "weatherizing" their homes, making them more energy efficient and helping to keep them warmer during the upcoming winter months.
Eighty-year-old Irmo resident Isabell Tucker's rickety storm windows that are literally falling apart – some held together only by tape – makes her tiny cinder-block home ill-equipped to keep winter's chill at bay.
Ninety-year-old Hartsville resident Edna Ramsey was especially concerned about her drafty windows and a roof in disrepair after hearing predictions that this winter will be colder than normal.
Sumter residents Sadell and Jacob Johnson are unable to make needed repairs to their windows, doors and floors before the cooler weather arrives. Mrs. Johnson is recovering from a recent back surgery, and Mr. Johnson is being treated for cancer and a number of other serious illnesses.
St. Helena Island residents Angel and Lydia Agosto are disabled following his very serious back injury earlier this year and her ongoing heart problems. With windows that need replacing and large holes in the interior walls, they needed help quickly.
SCE&G employees are coming to their rescue. It's all part of SCE&G's annual Holiday Housewarming Blitz. Through a contribution by SCE&G of $50,000, state and community action agencies – including Gov. Mark Sanford's office – will be involved in weatherizing more than 45 homes belonging to limited-income residents in Beaufort and in other areas of the state over the next few months.
"These are the communities where many of our employees live and work," said Keller Kissam, SCE&G's vice president of electric operations. "This program gives us a wonderful opportunity to serve our communities in a very personal and meaningful way. I'm proud of our folks for giving so generously of their time and effort to help our neighbors in need."
Kissam said the work being done by volunteers may include everything from repairing or replacing doors and windows to adding new insulation, caulking around windows and installing weather-stripping around doors. He said taking such steps can improve a home's energy efficiency by as much as 25 percent and help reduce monthly heating bills.
He offered other practical tips for anyone interested in controlling energy costs during the winter. "Try setting your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower," said Kissam. "For each degree above 68, your heating costs can increase 8 to10 percent. On sunny winter days, open shades and drapes to help warm the house. At night or on cloudy days, keep them closed to help reduce the amount of heat that escapes. Also, check air filters once a month, and replace them if they're dirty so your heating unit won't have to work as hard."
Kissam said customers can visit SCE&G's Web site, www.sceg.com, for more energy saving tips.
SCE&G is the largest subsidiary of SCANA Corporation, an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations. Information about SCANA and its businesses is available on the company's Web site at www.scana.com.