Eco3 Warms Homes

These bitter cold days remind us of how heating is so important in Duluth. Yet, for many Duluth residents, paying their heating bills can mean extreme financial distress. Nationwide, households that pay more than 6% of their household income on energy utilities are considered to be in energy poverty. But in St. Louis County, low-income households pay an average of 41% of their income on energy. Not only that, but 22% of the houses in the Lincoln Park neighborhood use fuel oil for their heating system. These systems are very inefficient, and each gallon of heating oil produces more than 22 pounds of carbon emissions, the equivalent of 25 miles driven by the average car. Ecolibrium3 has been dedicated to finding sustainable solutions to these energy issues.

As we schedule home energy audits, perform weatherization services, and more, we know these numbers and statistics only show a small part of the picture. The work we do impacts the health and strength of our community members, helping them save money, live in healthier homes, and improve the environment at the same time.

One example of this is Duluth resident Jodi Vonville and her three kids, who in August received a free boiler system replacement in their home. This replacement, which would have normally cost her over $10,000, was completed at zero cost to the homeowner. 

Jaeger Moser, an Americorps VISTA member working with Eco3, helped install this new boiler system, “It’s really important to move from fuel oil for heating in Duluth. Not only is it an extremely expensive and dirty way to heat your home, it’s really bad for the environment. There are much cheaper, cleaner heating systems out there that we could install instead.” As Jaeger recalls this rewarding experience, he says it inspired him, “This is what I want to do. I want to work more with my community and make heating in Duluth more efficient and available to residents. Making homes more energy efficient means my neighbors can keep warm during the harshest winter days Duluth throws at us.” Through our VISTA program, we’re giving professional experience to community members to develop a sustainable future of energy efficiency in our neighborhood. This way, we can tackle the energy burden in our community from multiple angles. Jodi and her children, with a newer, more efficient boiler, can save more than $250 a year, and stay safe and warm in their home this winter, and we can help build up energy efficiency services in the community. However, our work is far from finished when it comes to heating Duluth homes.

As we move into the future, we need to help our community transition to a clean energy future without leaving anyone behind, and we need your support to make that happen. Join us in this effort by making a contribution to our energy work today.