The joys of living in limbo
by Cathy Passmore
Sep 08, 2010 | 200 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Living in limbo is definitely not a good experience. An update on the AACOG weatherization of my house would show that after the first week of work, nothing has been done. It seems to be due to a lack of coordination of the work crews who can only do certain kinds of work.

The first week saw the installation of windows, seven of them, and some of the insulation, but only in the walls. As I reported before, some days of that week saw four or five workers coming to do the installations, while other days there might be only two or three. I believe this is part of the problem.

The remaining things that need to be done are installing the more efficient appliances needed to save energy: Hot water heater, wall heating unit and air conditioner. I was told that they had been ordered and are waiting in San Antonio to be brought here and installed.

My understanding is that the crew (person?) who does these installations is busy elsewhere. So all last week and so far this week, nothing has been done. And today is Wednesday, the middle of the third week. And, after those installations, the original crew (or some of them) will return to complete the insulation to be installed in the attic. And that should be it.

But in the meantime, I still have most of my things that might get in the way of such installations, particularly dragging the large hose into the house and up into the attic, stored away for safekeeping. And, of course, some of those things are needed to operate and keep my home life in normal efficiency. So far, it’s been the inability to put my hands on things that I need that have been the source of my discontent with the process.

And, of course, not knowing whether or when they will show up makes going to work a case of “do I go or not?” If I go will I need to go home after I start on a project at work? I’ve been promised I will be called when they are coming, or on their way, but how much does that help if I have to drop everything wherever I am and run home, hoping to beat them there? After all, sometimes I am on a reporting assignment and it would be very inconvenient to leave in the middle of an interview or picture-taking assignment.

So, for what it’s worth, here’s my suggestion to AACOG: You need to hire people who can do both types of work. Yes, you need good carpenters with experience to accomplish the basic requirements of home building or remodeling. But you need more crew members with basic knowledge of electrical and plumbing knowledge.

There is no need to build a place to put a hot water heater or air conditioning unit that is already there. And it would be mostly carpentry work to cut a hole in the wall to install a heating unit. How hard would it be to have one cut the wall and the other be standing by to install the heater and vent?

I was asked to write about my experience with AACOG and the use of the grant money to upgrade and make more energy efficient older houses like mine. And I believe it’s a worthwhile cause and I look forward to the energy expense it will save me. But right now, I’d have to grade the experience so far with a C-. And, if it goes on much longer at this snail’s pace, I might have to change that to a D.

AACOG, I believe there has to be a better system and a quicker one to save even more energy, for people and the environment.

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