Families in need to get help winterizing homes with new Oakland County program

The goal of the Oakland Saves program is to help winterize homes and improve energy efficiency at little to no cost.

Last winter, we saw once-in-a-generation storms wreak havoc on the country and in Michigan.  As we close in on that time of year when the days get colder and the threat of severe winter storms increases, a team of oakland county leaders want to help residents who are struggling.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter helped announce the Oakland Saves program which is a part of the "Michigan Saves" initiative.

"This is going to be a game changer for a lot of families, and ongoing cost savings to them and environmental benefits for the county," said Coulter.

The goal is to assist lower-income families pay for critical needs like home insulation or a new furnace.

"Think about a low-income family, right," Coulter said. "Low income, we’re talking about $60,000 to $70,000 for a family of four. Five thousand dollars is a lot to re-invest in, in things you know you need, but you’re still feeding your family and still putting gas in the car."

"When heat is escaping out of windows and out of cracks, and through walls — this puts a financial burden on some of the most vulnerable," said Dave Woodward, the chairman of the Oakland County Commission.

Oakland saves will be open to all Oakland County homeowners and will operate through a two-tier income system. This means families with lower incomes will receive more financial help.

The $5 million investment — which is the largest in any Michigan county — is funded through President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

"This funding is intended to help community members recover and become more resilient after the COVID-19 pandemic," said Erin Quetell, chief sustainability officer, Oakland County. "So, it’s really critical that we have this, to provide resources for our community moving forward."

"We’re thrilled to work with Erin and her staff to implement this turnkey program, which will save residents energy and money on utility bills while making their homes safer and more comfortable," said Todd Parker, Michigan Saves.

Oakland County leaders want this program to help reduce greenhouse gases and the carbon footprint locally.

Oakland Saves begins in January, and applications will be available on Oakland County’s website. Go HERE for more information.

The initial rollout will target 1,000 households in need.