Small Town, Small Homes, Big Savings

December 2022

Just a few blocks down from the statue of the World’s Largest Sugar Beet (and site of a level 2 electric vehicle charging station in 2023!) sit the Wimmer Homes. Originally built in the 1960s for low-income elderly residents to preserve their independence, these fourteen small but sturdy homes, owned by the city of Halstad (pop. 564), have since been opened up to all renters.

With the help of a recent CERTs seed grant, those homes became more comfortable and energy efficient with additional insulation. 

Lucas Spaeth, superintendent of Halstad Utilities, was able to share an update with CERTs staff, the Grand Forks Herald, and the local radio station KRJB 106.5 about the energy-saving project.  “Insulation was completed in the attic spaces of fourteen units. These single story one-bedroom houses were able to see significant savings in electric heating costs.  Each home was fully filled with insulation to the rafters; twenty plus inches in the center and around six inches near the soffits.”

Residents immediately noticed a difference.

“We heard back in just the first two months from some of our customers that were happy with it. It was less drafty, it was warmer, they don’t want to go back to how it was before.”

Lucas Spaeth, Halstad Utilities superintendent

SNAPSHOT: City of Halstad
— Wimmer Homes

Clean Energy Focus: Energy efficiency with added blown-in fiberglass insulation in attics of 14 homes

Northwest CERT Seed Grant: $5,000

Other Funds Leveraged: Self-funded

Energy Saved Each Year: 8,065 kWh (575 kWh per home)

Money Saved Each Year: $1,000 ($70 per home)

People Involved and Reached: 31

Besides the electric vehicle charger soon to be installed, Spaeth is looking at the laundry building that serves Wimmer Homes for additional energy savings. “We’re looking into off-peak storage systems, and also maybe heat pumps.” With cost savings and comfort in mind, Spaeth and the city of Halstad keep moving forward with innovative ways to serve their customers and those folks passing through. 

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