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Senior Citizen Looks Forward to Lower Utility Bills

Vivian Minor has a collection of elephant figurines given to her by her daughter for good luck, but the 76-year-old retired housekeeper attributes the recent weatherization of her Arlington, Virginia home to more than luck. She credits her home’s energy
renovation to the good will and hard work of organizations such as Dominion Power and CHP who have partnered together to bring free weatherization services to low-wealth senior citizens in Arlington and Fairfax counties.

Minor first learned about the weatherization program at the Arlington View Senior Facility, where an information session on energy savings provided by CHP’s outreach coordinator Connie England truly hit home.

“As a single woman living on my own on a fixed income, the cost of my utility bills was becoming increasingly difficult to handle,” said Minor. “But when I heard there was a way to actually make my home use less energy, I applied for the service with CHP.”

Originally from New Orleans, Minor moved into her home 30 years ago when her husband retired from the military. The charming two-story house suited Minor and her two children well, but leaks at the doors, windows, and ducts, as well as poor insulation and ventilation, meant the house was literally seeping energy.

Thanks to funding assistance from Dominion, CHP’s Energy Services crew was able perform in one day several energy saving measures on Minor’s home that included running diagnostic tests on Minor’s home to evaluate areas of heat loss, insulating the attic with cellulose insulation, replacing and caulking windows, weatherstripping the doors, replacing the heat pump air filter, providing a 6-month supply of additional reusable filters, and wrapping her water pipes with insulation – all measures to improve heating and cooling efficiency. The 7-member crew also switched out existing light bulbs with more energy efficient compact Senior Citizen Looks Forward to Lower Utility Bills fluorescent light bulbs, installed low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators to reduce water consumption, and added a clothes dryer vent kit to avoid moisture problems in the basement.

CHP’s Energy Services department also routinely monitors and remedies homes of unsafe conditions, such as carbon monoxide emissions, fire hazards, and bad wiring. In evaluating Minor’s home,they determined new gas range and hood that vented to the
outside were necessary safety measures for the house’s indoor air quality.

“It’s important for us to create homes that are safer and more energy-efficient, which ultimatley means a reduced impact on the environment and our clients’ wallets,” said Bill Beachy, CHP’s Vice President of Energy Services.