Energy Efficiency Assistance Program to provide free repairs

BRISTOL, Tenn. - More than 50 people packed the Slater Center Monday evening to find out if they may qualify to be part of Bristol, Tennessee's Energy Efficiency Assistance Program.

Veronica Johnson and her daughter-in-law Marsha Hudson were among the crowd.

"When I saw it [the announcement] streaming across the TV screen, I jumped up and hollered, because I figured, Jesus, that if I get something out of this I'd be the happiest person in the world," said Veronica Johnson, Bristol, Tennessee resident.

Johnson and her neighbors will benefit from a 2010 emissions lawsuit by the former King Pharmaceuticals.

Based on the Clean Air Act the Supreme Court ordered King Pharmaceuticals to pay the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation $630,000.

The money from the settlement will now be passed onto homeowners who live within 2 miles of the plant through grants of up to $15,000 each.

And after a harsh winter Johnson and Hudson tell News 5 the timing couldn't be better.

"With the past three, four electric bills we've had, I think we really need to get something done. We really need to see what can be done to at least lower the bill a little bit, because maybe it [my home] needs to be insulated," said Marsha Hudson, Bristol, Tennessee resident.

According the map provided by the city for the program coverage area, Hudson who lives on the 900-block of Pennsylvania Avenue will be included in the energy efficiency assistance program.

But less than 3 miles down the road on 16th Street that's not the case.

Jan Eggers lives on 16th Street in Bristol, Tennessee.

"We are streets away from qualifying, unfortunately it cuts off a 12th Street and we are on 16th Street," said Jan Eggers, Bristol, Tennessee resident.

Eggers tells us she'll fill out the paperwork in hopes that she and her husband may receive any left over money.

"We'll feel it out hopefully it will extend that far but from the looks of it we won't," said Eggers.

If you live in the area and think you qualify fill out an application.

Repairs will be provided to low-income families who fall below a certain income requirement.

Once you've been approved, BTES will do a home energy audit on your home.

The city expects the first round of repairs to start in May.

For more information contact Mindy Bowman or Joseph Cadle of the Bristol, TN Community Development Office at 423-989-5521.

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