SAN ANTONIO -

The Army Residence Community is benefiting from a city-sponsored, energy-saving project.

Each of the 189 units at the community for retired military was included in a first-of-its-kind retrofitting project. 

Mary Lynne Montgomery, an Army Residence Community resident, said the upgrade was simple and painless. 

"We opened the garage door and they did the rest. We didn't have to do anything," she said.

Each unit has new insulation, new water heaters, Energy Star-rated refrigerators, new A/C units with duct sealing, weatherizing and LED lights throughout the home.

All of the upgrades pay off with about a 15 percent savings per home.

"We're retired (and) on a fixed income, so it's great," said Montgomery.

The project cost about $400,000 and was funded by the City of San Antonio through grants provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act .

It's a small portion of a $10 million grant provided to the city in 2010. 

"It gets us closer to saving the 771 megawatts of electricity or power that we want to save by 2020," said Mayor Julian Castro. "It's becoming more and more expensive to go out and buy more power, so what we need to do instead is save it. That's the idea behind this energy-efficiency project and when we can do it with retired military residents, that's even better."

A check was presented to the community on Monday morning, granting them more $518,701 in incentives and rebates for the project. 

"We're very excited by this accomplishment and it's a tremendous model for the nation in looking at larger scale energy-efficiency improvements across single family residences," said Danielle Sass Byrnett, a U.S. Department of Energy BetterBuildings program manager      

More information about energy saving upgrades is available at www.energysavers.gov

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.