ALPENA - More than 100 homes or apartments are going to be receiving new, energy-efficient refrigerators thanks to a grant via Alpena Power Company and the United Way.
On Thursday some of the appliances were delivered to Birchwood Meadow Apartments, while others will arrive at the Thunder Bay Apartments and Luther Manor at some point next week. Others will receive the new refrigerators in the days and weeks ahead.
United Way Executive Director Germaine Stoppa said a grant was issued from Clear Result through Efficiency United to Alpena Power, which in turn is working with the United Way to find people who need refrigerators. Stoppa said by issuing new refrigerators to people with little income, it helps to take older, less efficient appliances out of commission.
"This will reduce the strain on the grid and also lower people's power bills at the same time," Stoppa said. "There are approximately 100 refrigerators we will be giving away that were purchased locally. We are focusing on the complexes first and then individual requests will be handled after. After they are installed there will be an inspection to make sure everything is compliant and that will take a little time."
Stoppa said the old refrigerators will be removed when the new ones are delivered and will be recycled. She said there were strict criteria that needed to be met in order for a refrigerator to be approved.
"They have to be 200 percent of the poverty level and the refrigerator needs to be 10 years or older," Stoppa said. "They also have to be an Alpena Power Company customer."
Some of the refrigerators that were swapped out are old and in poor condition. Stoppa said the new refrigerators will help make life simpler for the people, and save them money. She said there are other projects being considered in the future.
"There are talks about doing electric hot water heaters and possibly furnaces," Stoppa said. "That might be down the road, but for now we are just focusing on the refrigerators."
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com.