5 on Your Side: Energy blankets

9:50 PM, Oct 26, 2012   |    comments
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Imperial, MO (KSDK) - "Going green" is a common catch phrase, and while many homeowners ease into it by recycling their garbage, others jump in house first, hoping to reduce their carbon footprint and their energy bills.

5 on Your Side's Mike Rush introduces us to two homeowners, who went green, but aren't getting the green in return.

From buying new windows to insulating her garage, Loretta Weber is constantly looking for ways to make her Imperial home more efficient. So a couple of years ago when this ad for a company called Solar Attic Blanket of St. Louis came in the mail, she was sold.

The blanket is designed to keep heat in the home during the winter and out of the home during the summer, reducing energy bills, the ad states, by 20 to 40 percent. But two years later, Weber says her savings aren't so great. She only saved about nine percent.

Loretta's concerns go far beyond just energy savings, she's worried about the actual safety of the material. It's up to code, but when a match is place near the blanket, it easily catches fire.

Another company called Energy Doctor of Southeast Missouri installed an energy blanket in Rodney Rokiskis home in 2008. He spent $4,600, but the Energy Doctor told him he would save more than $18,000 in the first ten years.

Four years, later, though, the Rokiskis' electric bills show they've saved hardly anything.

"We were told by the company that if the products that were placed in our house did not save us at least 25 percent on our utility bills that we could keep the products and we would get a full refund," said Roskiski.

I called the owner of the company who installed the Rokiskis energy blanket. Keith Colwell hung up on me, but this week, Colwell showed up at Rokiskis' home with a check for $500.

"It's not enough, I just don't think it's fair," said Rokiski.

Energy auditor Kellye Markowksi makes her living telling homeowners how to make their homes more energy efficient. She does not recommend the products for her customers in this area.

"They are an effective product if they're used in a home that's going to benefit them most," said Markowski. "It works better on a sunny day than a cloudy day and it works better in the sunbelt region."

It was an expensive lesson for Loretta Weber.

"I'm embarrassed to say I did not do my homework," says Weber.

Because of her fire concerns, Loretta had her energy blanket removed. The man who sold it to her, John Engelbach, didn't commit to returning her money, but did tell me he would at least talk to her about it. If you have a consumer problem and need answers contact 5 on Your Side online.


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