We awarded our 34th Climate Fund Grant to the Wilsons, a local Lansing couple in their late 30s. Nicole is a graduate student and her husband is a teacher in the Ithaca City School District. Four years ago, they moved back to the area with their in-laws, but in anticipation of expecting a newborn son, they knew it was time to buy a home of their own. They quickly decided on an old farmhouse that was just right. However, the heating system was not so! At the heart of their home lay their main heating source: a wood pellet stove. Yikes! It wasn’t enough to accommodate their heating needs. Some rooms were too hot and some too cold – definitely not suitable for welcoming a newborn into their life. Additionally, running the various propane heaters in some rooms was super expensive! After conducting extensive research to look into all funding options available and connecting with HeatSmart Tompkins, they partnered with Halco to install an air source heat pump system. All the ductwork in the house had been removed by previous owners, so wall-mounted heat pumps were a great solution. With excellent help from Matt Dennis at Halco, they finished the project in 2 phases to afford the cost over the course of a year. The first priority: in their bedroom and living room, and the second: their spare bedroom and the kitchen. Ultimately, the Climate Fund filled the funding gap to make this affordable for the Wilsons. Now, they’ve only had to use the pellet stove as backup – when there’s been consecutive days of single digit temperatures. Not only are their energy bills cut in half, but the Wilsons are finally comfortable in their home. This is important, now more than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps us home-bound. It’s also important that we’re helping the younger generations, as they continue to increasingly be put more at risk in the face of climate change. The Climate Fund awarded the Wilsons $4,155 ($2,000 from the LMI HeatSmart heat pump grant, and a $2,155 carbon offset grant from our Climate Fund for the 74 tons CO2 kept out of our air).