Long Wait for Energy Help but Now Comfort and Savings

When Charlotte Terrell got a call from LEAP’s Technical Director, Wilson Ratliff, more than two years after she started exploring options to help her weatherize her home, she almost couldn’t believe it.
“I was so impressed that he called after all that time to tell me LEAP had funds to help us,” said Charlotte.

After that call, things moved quickly. Wilson did an energy assessment of the Terrells’ home, wrote up recommendations for improvements, made sure the upgrades qualified for Dominion Energy’s EnergyShare weatherization program, arranged the contractors and work began. LEAP was also able to utilize Assisted Home Performance funds from the City of Charlottesville to ensure the most urgent and cost effective improvements were completed.

In under a month the home received attic and eave insulation, a ductless mini-split HVAC system upstairs, a bathroom exhaust fan, dryer venting and crawlspace ground cover. Charlotte and her husband Ralph, who was raised in the home, found themselves trusting the process too, often leaving to do errands without worry while workers were in the house.

“LEAP was always consistent and professional throughout the work. They always told me when they were coming, who would be coming, how long they would stay and what they would do,” said Charlotte. “And they always cleaned up afterwards. First class service,” added Ralph.

The increased comfort from the energy efficient enhancements was immediately noticeable to the Terrell family. They were even able to put away the space heaters they were using and remain warm in the recent frigid weather when temperatures in Charlottesville were below freezing for almost a week. When the work was completed in October, it was still quite warm and the Terrells’ granddaughter remarked for several days how happy she was to be rid of the old and very noisy window AC unit in her upstairs bedroom.

“After the improvements, we are so cozy in our home even in the freezing weather. My granddaughter’s room is the right temperature and quiet without a space heater or window air conditioner,” said Charlotte.

LEAP staff is excited to bring these much needed energy upgrades to the family, not only for increased comfort and safety, but for the future utility cost savings the Terrells will see.

LEAP Executive Director, Lesley Fore said, “Low-income households—who may live in older housing with poor ventilation, little insulation and inefficient heating systems—spend 7.2% of their income on utility bills, more than three times the 2.3% spent by higher-income households. We work to lessen that disparity with energy efficiency measures for all, regardless of income.”



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