Co-op program helps couple achieve American Dream
Article was added on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
By ADREL S. LANGLEY
Gary and DeAndra Cooper were on their way to the ultimate dream
of Happily Ever After when they purchased a home in Nesmith, SC in
April. The fixer upper was no challenge to the young
do-it-yourselfers and they set out to make it a home.
The couple thought the first step was to fix a 'small problem'
with the home's heating and cooling system. When they realized the
unit needed to be totally replaced, their dream almost ended as
soon as it had begun.
Then the couple heard about Santee Electric Cooperative's Help
My House program as a possible way to purchase a new heat pump
without paying the entire cost upfront. DeAndra, the ultimate
bargain hunter, said she was nervous when she first looked into the
program because she wasn't familiar with the program's whole home
approach to energy efficiency.
"When you think about saving electricity, you think about
lights, TV and appliances, you don't think about caulk," she said.
"Well I'm the caulking queen now!"
As much as half of the average monthly electric bill consists of
heating and cooling. If a member's home is not as energy efficient
as it can be, that percentage is even greater and the cost of
living comfortably increases greatly. Instead of just changing out
the Cooper's HVAC unit, their home had to be audited to see what
other energy savings measures were needed, Jay Kirby SEC Manager of
When the contractor came to test the house, DeAndra said she was
amazed with the process that showed how all the small cracks in the
house added up. Often before work began on the house, Gary said it
was more comfortable outside than inside but the first day the
contractors started sealing those small cracks where air was
leaking, the couple could instantly tell a difference.
"As soon as the contractors started putting insulation in the
attic and caulking, you could tell a big difference without the
unit even running," DeAndra said.
Now that all the improvements have been completed, the couple is
looking forward to starting a family and living happily ever after
in their 'Help My House' home.
"The program was a big help," Gary said. "It was like God
himself sent them to help us."
For more information or to find out if your house qualifies for
the program, call Santee Electric Cooperative at
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