When Community Power Works asked Rainier Beach resident Tim Aguero why he joined the program, he told us, “I needed to join the green revolution!” By heating his home with oil, Aguero said, he joined millions of people who are too dependent on fossil fuels doing long-term damage to the environment. “If everybody does this, if everybody pumps all of this insulation into their house, and improves their heating system, we can make a huge difference in the environment. I mean, it would be massive.”
The Agueros have two young children, and both work at home. With so much daily activity in their home, the family is seeking a cleaner and less expensive heat source. This was especially true after learning from their Community Power Works Energy Auditor, Tom Balderston of Conservation Services Group, that their energy consumption was 14% higher than the Seattle average, and that their carbon output was over 10 tons a year.
<VIDEO: TIM’S PERSONAL VALUES>
After talking with neighbors and consulting with Community Power Works energy and finance experts, the Agueros decided to have a complete home energy makeover. Tim was delighted to learn that he could donate the oil left in his tank instead of burning it before the project could begin. As it was, the project kicked off on a Thursday morning, replacing the oil furnace with a ducted heat pump. The following Monday and Tuesday, Raatz Construction blew 50 bales of insulation into the previously un-insulated walls, and finished up air sealing, installing an efficient bathroom fan, and plugging holes.
The change in the Aguero home was immediate and palpable. Tim was astonished to find that the home was still a snug 68 degrees when he checked the temperature in the evening a half hour after the thermostat was programmed to shut off. “The retention of heat that this is creating – that’s the key,” he said. Also important, the Aguero kids are breathing cleaner air. And as an added bonus, Tim said, “They don’t have to crawl into our bed anymore, because they are nice and toasty in their own room.”
Approximately $5000 in incentives, discounts, and rebates were applied to the bottom line of the project, reducing the final price tag by about a third. “They even paid me to take the decommissioned oil tank away,” Aguero said. For the balance, the Agueros were able to get low-interest financing through a Community Power Works Craft3 loan, with the monthly payments included on their Seattle City Light bill. “They were great to work with…it was a seamless process, and they really made me feel comfortable.”
In the end, the Agueros reduced their energy consumption by 59% and are expected to reduce their heating costs by over $1300 per year. “It’s really easy, and [Community Power Works] is making it easy for us to become green,” said Aguero.