Awardee Profiles

The Newman Home

Valerie was born in Ithaca and grew up in an old farmhouse from the 1810s and fell in love with another old farmhouse built in the 1830s.  She bought that farmhouse, outside of Trumansburg, in August of 2020 and like any old building, it needed work.  When the oil tank started leaking, she decided to put the money she would have spent on the oil boiler towards something more energy efficient.  She had already been interested in environmental issues.  Working with an installer friend, Ethereal Energy Systems, she found out about the Finger Lakes Climate Fund.  Ethereal did all the paperwork to put the funding together.

Valerie’s home energy upgrades were completed in January 2022.  Ethereal installed two air source mini-split heat pump systems, with 8 interior units that allow her to control individual room temps.  Valerie is delighted to have a more energy efficient home.  She is also thankful that she doesn’t have to worry about water pipes bursting as much since the radiators are now empty and the water only goes to the bathroom and kitchen.

It hasn’t taken long for Valerie to see the benefit of retrofitting her heating system.  She is thrilled her energy bills are much less than what she expected.  Now when she isn’t busy as a real estate agent, it may be possible to see her use her prior bartending expertise to celebrate.  Let’s raise a glass to Valerie, our 68th Climate Hero!

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