Dawn Hjelseth, Director of Development works at GreenSpaces.


What: The Chattanooga Empower program's Avondale Community Fair
When: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Feb. 21
Where: Avondale Recreation Center, 1305 Dodson Ave.
Register for an EPB Home Energy Upgrade
Sign up for a home energy assessment, eScore

Avondale residents can apply for free energy-saving home retrofits through Feb. 28. How?
At any EPB location
By calling 423-648-1372
Online at
Ten Avondale homes will be accepted to EPB's Home Energy Upgrade program.

Residents in the Avondale neighborhood can learn about how to reduce their energy bills and what resources are available to help them during a free seminar planned from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Avondale Recreation Center.

Participants also can apply to win free energy-saving home upgrades, courtesy of EPB. Applications, which are due by Feb. 28, will be available at the Saturday event.

GreenSpaces last month launched Empower, a program aimed at lowering energy bills through smarter use of electricity in Highland Park, East Lake and East Chattanooga. Avondale is in East Chattanooga. Empower also could win the city of Chattanooga $5 million from the Georgetown University Energy Prize.

EPB announced its Home Energy Upgrade pilot program in tandem with Empower, an initiative by GreenSpaces, a Chattanooga nonprofit organization focused on community-wide sustainability. EPB plans to provide electricity-saving retrofits to about 10 low-income homes in Avondale.

About half of the East Chattanooga/Avondale area consists of renters, according to GreenSpaces.

"Many feel that they are stuck in a situation where they cannot improve their utility bills due to the condition of the home," said Dawn Hjelseth, GreenSpaces' director of development. The eScore program -- available for landlords as well as homeowners -- helps make homes as energy-efficient as possible. Landlords making upgrades can get the same rebates as homeowners making upgrades, Hjelseth said.

During Saturday's event, residents can learn about EPB's pilot program, which is designed to identify best practices for improving low-income homes with unusually high energy waste. The event also will include representatives from Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, Chattanooga Cares, Habitat for Humanity and Legal Aid.

Contact staff writer Mitra Malek at or 423-757-6406. Follow her on Twitter @MitraMalek.