word cloud in the shape of an arrow with the word leadership in the middle
November 28, 2014

From left to right: Gene, Rob, Carolina and Andrew

On Friday, March 26th, a crew from Green Collar Operations came to the home of Paco and Carolina Guajardo to perform an energy audit and assist this family of five with making energy saving improvements free of charge. Carolina works as a Training Specialist focusing on parent initiatives with ACE (A Community for Education) and Paco works in construction but has been without steady work for over 1.5 years. They have three children, Francisco (7 years old), and twins, Isaac and Gabriel (two years old). Their house is a 1970’s two bedroom, one bath style bungalow without central air and heat. They work hard in this city of Austin and struggle to makes ends meet. Their monthly electric bills range from $200 to $400 per month for this tiny home throughout the year and this has placed a great strain on their lives. The Hispanic Austin Leadership (HAL) program is sponsored by the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC). The HAL class of 2010 had a particular member, Gabriela Garcia, who also was assigned to work on the Environmental team. Knowing Carolina and her situation from work, Gabriela felt that Carolina’s home would be a great place to focus the team’s resources to help this family and help to draw more attention to East Austin and the needs of the community there. Through the team’s hard work and dedication to finding a way to help this family, the Environment Team was able to contact the president of Green Collar Operations, Andrew Ewig, who enthusiastically threw the support of Green Collar into this project. The Green Collar team arrived Friday morning and immediately began to work weatherizing the home. They installed insulation in the attic taking the house from an R-2 to an R-38 rating as well as sealed plumbing penetrations throughout the home, weather-stripped all the doors, patched a hole in the wall with Solar Board and performed several other weatherizing treatments on the home. Just within two days Carolina is already commenting on how wonderful the work is and that there is a noticeable difference. “The windows don’t shake in their frames anymore and we don’t feel a draft along the floor because they sealed the holes in the wall. This is wonderful! Thank you, Thank you!” The HAL Environment Team consists of Edward Olmeda, Gabriela Garcia and Paul Betancourt. These team members went further and helped educate the family on other topics of energy savings and helped the family to install a High-Efficiency Toilet for water conservation and a dozen compact fluorescent bulbs in their home.