“The mission of Project Warm is to provide energy conservation services and education, and to promote energy saving practices in the community.”
Because Project Warm believes that reducing energy consumption and practicing conservation leads to saving money and protecting the environment, we have provided free weatherization services to people with low incomes, and education and training through our workshops and special training programs since 1982. Our goal continues to be the same: to increase the number of people in our community living happier, healthier lives.
History of Project Warm
1982 - Responding to Community Need
Escalating energy prices during the late1970’s and early 1980’s created a crisis for many fixed-income households. Project Warm and Community WinterHelp were created to address that crisis by Dolores Delahanty, Director of Jefferson County Department for Human Services, Mark Isaacs, architect, Jim Davis, Director of ACCEPT, Jim Walsh, energy activist, David Ross Stevens, environmental writer for the Courier-Journal, and Chuck Thurman of LG&E. Support in the early years came from Louisville and Jefferson County governments, LG&E, The Bingham Foundation and The Cumberland Bank.
1984 through 1989 - Leadership in Energy Innovation
In the 1980s, Project Warm began teaching classes for its volunteers and the community at large on the “science of weatherization”. The workshops have evolved into Project Warm’s current energy management workshops.
In 1984 the U. S. Department of Energy recognized Project Warm for its success in "energy innovation."
Project Warm operated an owner-builder school, providing training for people to learn how to design and build their own energy efficient homes. Several energy-efficient model homes were completed.
Project Warm participated in the Summer Youth Employment Program, teaching hundreds of high school age youth the principles of energy conservation and weatherization techniques in real-world situations.
Project Warm’s full-time, highly trained staff partnered with LG&E and Louisville’s Weatherization Assistance Program to improve home energy efficiency for qualified households.
1990 through 1999 – Building Capacity
In 1990 Project Warm became the first weatherization organization in Kentucky to implement the use of blower-door technology into its daily work practices.
Project Warm and LG&E created the Energy Partners Program, the first Demand-side Management program in the state of Kentucky.
Each November since 1991 Project Warm has organized the Project Warm Blitz, during which hundreds of volunteers repair air leaks and install plastic interior window covers in homes of seniors and disabled individuals throughout Jefferson County.
Project Warm was recognized by the Professional Association of Energy Educators (PACE) as a national leader in the field of energy education. Frank Schwartz, Project Warm’s current executive director, served on the board of directors of PACE from 1993-2001. Energy Management Workshops continue to be a vital component of Project Warm’s services.
In 1999 Project Warm launched its Full Service Program for low-income households with especially high utility bills. Initial funding for this program was provided by United Hunger Relief, Affordable Energy Corporation, and Metro United Way’s Community Investment Team for Economically Stable Families.
2000 to present – Continuing Innovation
Project Warm, in partnership with the Louisville and Jefferson County Community Action Partnership (CAP), designed an experimental project called the "Energy Challenge" targeting homeowners who qualified for public assistance and pay especially high utility bills.
In 2002 the REACH program was developed to encourage home owners to participate in energy saving home improvements with the goal of increasing self reliance and building life skills.
In 2009, Project Warm began its collaboration with the Louisville chapter of YouthBuild, an education, job training and leadership program for young adults. Project Warm hired a YouthBuild graduate in 2011.
Project Warm continues to evaluate and improve services and service delivery process through analysis of results and professional development. In 2012 two staff members were trained and certified as professional BPI Building Analysts.
Beginning in 2010 Project Warm has improved information technology infrastructure by implementing cloud computing using Google Apps for Education for email, calendar and document sharing, and improved business analytics capacity using enterprise software provided free by Salesforce.com.
Each year 1,500-2,000 individuals attend Project Warm’s Energy Management Workshops.