When Linda Copman and her three daughters moved to Ithaca from their long-time home in Hawaii, they were completely unfamiliar with the realities of heating and cooling a home through four seasons. In their solar-powered island home, temperature control was simple – open a window if you’re warm and close it if you’re cold. Thus, when they fell in love with their pretty historic home in the Town of Ithaca, they didn’t know that they should ask to see the utility bills before purchase. Watch the Copmans tell their story.
Their first heating bill during our recent long, cold winter filled Linda with dismay, but she immediately went to work researching her options and finding professional advice through the good folks at Snug Planet. They conducted an energy assessment and found that the house was basically uninsulated; but even worse was the leaking ductwork and grossly inefficient old boiler (you know you’re wasting fuel when your basement is uncomfortably hot while the rest of the house is freezing!).
The Copmans could not afford to do more than a boiler replacement, and even with a 50% NYSERDA matching grant, they were hard pressed to both pay their heating bills and come up with their half of the boiler costs. They were perfect candidates for a grant from the Finger Lakes Climate Fund, so Snug Planet helped them apply for assistance. Because of the extremely inefficient situation, just the one step of replacing the boiler was going to eliminate 118 tons of carbon dioxide, qualifying the Copmans for the ninth FLCF grant with an award of $2,361.
Linda and her daughters will be able to view the approach of next winter with much more equanimity. There’s still a long way to go to bring their home into the modern era of energy efficiency, but their utility bills should be far less ruinous now thanks to the generosity of the donors to the FLCF. The Copmans share a joyful and gracious approach to life, even in the face of adversity, and their sincere “aloha” of thanks should make all of our donors proud to participate.