Meet Duane Smith

March 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

Duane Smith insulates homes.  Or, as he puts it, he helps people keep their same comfort level while lowering their heating and cooling bills.  City dwellers are often spurred to think sustainably because nature is already in short supply around them.  For Smith, a native of Louisburg, North Carolina, the motivating force was the opposite. Close contact with nature growing up shaped his views about the importance of conservation.  “Things keep changing and changing,” he says. “But if things change too much, we will adversely affect the environment.”

Smith Insulation is a family business, making it sustainable in another way.  Duane’s father, Tommy, started the business when he was 18 years old.  At the time, homes were intentionally built a little leaky.  A little air flow between the interior and exterior of the home was considered necessary for comfort.  There were also no code requirements for insulation, so few homeowners bothered with the extra expense and complication.  Today’s insulating technology has evolved by leaps and bounds.  Homeowners have a range of options to choose from, and air sealing stops uncontrolled leaks, those energy holes once considered a normal and necessary part of home construction.  “A home has to be treated like a complete system,” Smith says.  To attract business, Smith Insulation is constantly researching the latest technologies—insulation bats, spray foams, and fi-foil to name a few.

Smith Insulation was inspired to become a 2030 Society Founder because of its involvement in the City of Durham’s Neighborhood Energy Retrofit Program.  This program has a goal of making 700 Durham homes more energy-efficient at a very low cost to the homeowners, with Clean Energy Durham training and organizing neighborhood volunteers to promote the program and do basic energy education, plus Smith Insulation and two other contractors providing the professional home improvement work under the supervision of the City of Durham.

2030 Society members have pledged multi-year support and recognize Clean Energy Durham as a community leader helping the city and county reach their goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the year 2030.

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Entry filed under: Fundraising, Neighborhood Energy Retrofit Program (NERP).

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