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Nav Location: SEC Home  >   About Santee Electric  >   News and Press  >  Co-op program helps couple achieve American Dream


Co-op program helps couple achieve American Dream

Article was added on Wednesday, October 15, 2014


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 Marketing explains.   

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 1-800-922.1604.

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