For Deteh and Hakhi Paw, it’s been a longer journey to home ownership than for most people. The Burmese natives spent ten years in a refugee camp in Thailand before finally reaching asylum in the U.S. in 2006 with their four children. In Ithaca, they learned a new language and adapted to a new climate and culture. A job at the Statler Hotel enabled them to finally purchase a 1970s split-level ranch in the Town of Ithaca. But to their surprise, this relatively new house was so poorly insulated and drafty that they were wearing their coats indoors during their first winter of 2014-2015. The worst offenders were the cantilevered parts of the house and the bedrooms over the garage. Watch Deteh Paw talk about his family’s home.
A friend told Deteh about Snug Planet, whose energy audit of the home revealed a long list of needed insulation, air-sealing, and equipment replacement. It was far more than they could afford. But through cost sharing with NYSERDA programs and the Finger Lakes Climate Fund, the price was reduced to a level they could manage. Our grant for $1,224 helped offset 61 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from our community.
The relief and happiness the Paws feel at now having a safe and warm place of their own was clear during our visit. Comfort, warmth, security, and lower energy bills to boot!