“For almost 25 years, our building had inadequate heat and hot water. We had to live in severe conditions. But things changed with this project.” Murman Khachapuridze, a retired journalist and resident of the Tbilisi Elders Boarding House
Warm Elderly, a project of USAID’s Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) Clean Energy Program, implemented by Winrock, won the National Energy Globe Award Georgia on June 5, World Environment Day. The project supplied the Tbilisi Elders Boarding House with a new solar hot water heating system and other energy efficiency upgrades to meet the residents’ needs, save money and help protect the environment for future generations.
Before the renovation, the boarding house had high monthly energy expenses yet could not keep its residents warm in the winter. “For a long time our tenants slept in coats, hats and trousers, unable to visit the cold dining room — we were serving the meals in their rooms,” said Darjean Tomadze, the boarding house director. There was only enough hot water for residents to take two showers per week.
Through a USAID-supported grant, the building now has a solar water heating system, compact fluorescent bulbs to replace 700 incandescent bulbs, and new insulation. These changes have not only made life more comfortable for the boarding house’s 63 residents, but have also resulted in expected annual emissions reductions of 31,400 kg of CO2.
“What this project is really all about is people; it’s about you, the residents of this community,” said USAID Georgia’s Michael Rossman when he met with Khachapuridze and other boarding house residents.
Here are a few of those people, residents of the Tbilisi Elders Boarding House. They used to be cold, but now, thanks to the EC-LEDS project, they are living a warmer, more comfortable life: