State grant boosts apartment complex weatherization

State grant boosts apartment complex weatherization

January 13th, 2012 by Carey O'Neil in Business Around the Region

Don Roberts carries a vacuum hose used to remove outdated insulation from the attics of units at Yester Oaks Apartments on Thursday morning in LaFayette, Ga. The apartment complex received a state grant that replaced much of the insulation and sealed holes and cracks in the attic.

Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse /Times Free Press.

• Company: Yester Oaks Apartments

• Location: 51 Yester Oaks Drive, LaFayette, Ga.

• Project: Weatherization renovations and installation of energy-efficient appliances in the majority of the property's 44 units.

• Cost: The project is expected to reach $286,000 when renovations are finished by the end of January. Only a quarter of that will be footed by property owner LaMar Management, thanks to a grant from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority.

• How it works: Over the next month, energy efficiency experts will seal up any places where air escapes from the apartments, helping maintain indoor temperatures.

They also will replace old refrigerators, heating and air conditioning units and other appliances with new energy-efficient units. That could reduce energy consumption per apartment by as much as 30 percent. "This property is having just about the whole gamut of renovations done," said Rebecca Long, compliance coordinator for LaMar.

• History: About 90 percent of the appliances in the 30-year-old apartments were installed when the units were built, according to Long. Because Yester Oaks has slim profit margins, LaMar doesn't invest much in renovating the property. These updates were much needed, she said, and residents are looking forward to the project's completion. "They're excited about the energy savings and not having just a more efficient unit but a nice home," Long said. "Whether you own or rent, you want to feel like you live in a place you can call home."