21st July 2024

When Sammie Lewis’ previous warmth pump stopped cooling her dwelling in the summertime of 2021, she was decided to discover a answer. Her resolve ultimately led to not solely a brand new warmth pump but additionally photo voltaic panels and different energy-efficiency upgrades that elevated her dwelling’s consolation and put it on the trail to net-zero power use.

As a senior navigating a low revenue, Sammie was capable of make these important power upgrades to her North Portland dwelling because of the collaborative efforts of Group Power Undertaking (CEP), Portland Clear Power Group Advantages Fund (PCEF) and Power Belief of Oregon.

“I like my home—I adore it a lot. I simply actually hope I by no means have to maneuver out of right here. Particularly since all of the repairs and upgrades which have been finished to make it power environment friendly,” stated Sammie. “It’s simply comfy in my dwelling.”

Sadly, her dwelling wasn’t comfy when her cooling give up throughout considered one of Portland’s hottest summers on file.

“Once we had the excessive temperatures after which my warmth pump went out, I used to be so nervous that it was going to actually have an effect on my well being,” she stated.

After getting a number of costly restore estimates, and investing in a single restore that failed, Sammie turned to Group Power Undertaking for assist.

Sammie knew and trusted CEP. She first related with the Portland nonprofit a few decade in the past when she wanted some repairs to her home. After that preliminary encounter, Sammie made certain to make the most of every thing CEP provided.

“After they got here out and helped me do issues myself, it was simply so enlightening. I actually appreciated that, so I made it a degree to go to their weatherization workshops yearly,” stated Sammie.

This time when Sammie known as, CEP representatives carried out a diagnostic on her warmth pump and decided it wanted changing. However in addition they noticed this as a chance to make different upgrades to her dwelling as a part of a venture to construct housing resiliency for Black residents in north and northeast Portland, funded by a $800,000 grant from PCEF and leveraging Power Belief incentives. They work with native contractors to supply no-cost retrofits that permit owners to stay of their properties. (Study extra about how CEP is working with PCEF to assist owners.)

Together with a brand new warmth pump, Power Belief commerce ally H.E.L.P (Residence Power Life Efficiency) added attic and flooring insulation. The icing on the cake was a 6.08-kilowatt rooftop photo voltaic system, put in by Power Belief commerce ally Synchro Photo voltaic, that started producing clear energy in Might 2022.

Sammie was capable of get all of the wanted repairs and upgrades without charge because of the PCEF grant, mixed with Power Belief incentives and funds from the Portland Housing Bureau. One of many Power Belief incentives she obtained was Photo voltaic Inside Attain, an elevated incentive that helps income-qualified owners go photo voltaic.

Photo voltaic combines with power upgrades to zero out power prices

Sammie was already concerned about photo voltaic as a result of she beforehand discovered concerning the Oregon Group Photo voltaic Program via a CEP workshop and thought she would possibly have the ability to take part. However she was excited to be taught she would get her personal photo voltaic venture put in on her roof.

“I couldn’t wait to see the way it was going to have an effect on my electrical invoice, and, I let you know, I’ve not needed to pay for any electrical energy for the reason that photo voltaic was put in,” stated Sammie. As a substitute, she constructed up a credit score steadiness on her Portland Basic Electrical account due to all of the clear energy her system produces—and the way little power her dwelling now makes use of because of the warmth pump and different effectivity upgrades.

“I saved trying on the invoice and considering it was incorrect. However I simply saved getting credit score balances, after which realized ‘oh, that is actual.’ I adore it,” she stated.

Sammie has observed some modifications on her invoice with cooler winter temperatures, however she nonetheless has a big credit score steadiness.

“If I’ve something to pay when winter is over, will probably be little or no. I’m so appreciative. It actually helped my price range rather a lot,” she stated.

Along with the invoice financial savings, she additionally appreciates how the up-to-date warmth pump and insulation have made her dwelling far more comfy year-round and eradicated chilly flooring in winter.

Sharing her expertise with the group

Associates and neighbors took discover as Synchro Photo voltaic crews put in the photo voltaic panels, and Sammie is more than pleased to share her expertise.

“I consider in photo voltaic power. It’s sustainable. I like controlling my dwelling power use and getting clear power. And I consider in having a wholesome setting,” stated Sammie. “I counsel everybody to become involved. Don’t be afraid to simply attain out and get data, get within the know and find out about it. That’s what must be finished.”

Questioning if your house is true for photo voltaic and in case you qualify for Photo voltaic Inside Attain elevated incentives? Request a free evaluation and bid.

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