Every winter, Susie Cantor faced a decision familiar to too many parents. A single mother, Susie was forced to choose between paying her costly energy bills and buying necessary items for her two daughters. In their midcentury home in Greenwood, the Cantor family struggled to pay the “nauseating” $350/month oil bill for the home’s old, inefficient furnace. When a friend recommended that she look into other heating options, Susie called around to inquire about her options.
Greenwood Heating, a Community Power Works contractor, suggested Susie sign up for a deeply-discounted $125 energy audit through Community Power Works. Susie jumped at the deal, and the audit revealed upgrading to a natural gas furnace could cut the family’s energy bills by over 50 percent.
“I was blown away by how cheap it would be to heat with gas,” Susie says, “and by how easy CPW made it to convert.”
Still, the upfront costs of purchasing the equipment threatened to put this upgrade out of Susie’s reach. Community Power Works connected her with nonprofit lending partner Craft3, and Susie qualified for a low-interest Craft3 loan.
This simple upgrade has had a ripple effect on how Susie lives in and enjoys her home. Of the new furnace, she says: “It’s invaluable. You can’t put a price on joy and happiness.” The satisfaction and security may be difficult to quantify, but the $200 she saves every month on her heating bills has freed up funds so Susie can pay for extracurricular activities, buy winter coats, and provide other essentials for her daughters.
Just weeks after firing up her new furnace, Susie is already looking forward to making more efficiency upgrades to her home. She plans to convert her stove and water heater to modern natural gas models, and is saving toward a ductless heat system.
Would she recommend Community Power Works to other homeowners? Susie’s answer was short and sweet: “It’s a miracle. Do it.”