The village of Oak Park should be commended for launching its Better Homes, Better Planet program to improve energy efficiency across the community and reduce Oak Park’s carbon footprint.

The Home Energy Assessment Program appears to be an especially worthy initiative. But as a resident who has tried to use the program, I have found it to be incompetently run.

On Dec. 28, I was scheduled for an assessment during the afternoon. I rearranged my day and waited for five hours, but no one showed up and no one called. At the end of the day, I called the program and was told my appointment was canceled due to “inclement weather.” (There were all of 2-3 inches of snow that day.)

My appointment was rescheduled for Jan. 11, between 8 a.m. and noon, and I was promised that I would be the first appointment. Again, I rearranged my day, again no one showed up and again no one called. When I called the office, I was told the cancellation was “due to COVID” (the universal, all-purpose excuse these days for unacceptable service).

Meanwhile, my email and voicemail have been inundated with unwanted solicitations from window installers, solar panel companies and other energy-efficiency vendors. I do not recall giving permission to share my contact information.

My experience leads me to believe the Home Energy Assessment Program is more about making a buck than improving sustainability.

Jim Ritter
Oak Park

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