December 12, 2022
Lisa and Ron Suddarth had been in their Fairfax townhome since 2006, but about four years ago their heat pump stopped working and they lived without heat or air conditioning while navigating health issues. While Lisa managed her health conditions and Ron attended to her needs, the items around their home began to pile up.
One day, they received their real estate tax renewal from the city of Fairfax, which included a flyer from Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church (AFF). Lisa decided it was time to reach out for help and contacted Rebuilding Together, a non-profit that uses a volunteer workforce to provide home repairs and health and safety measures. A team of 10 volunteers from Rebuilding Together AFF came to the Suddarth home and installed stair rails to assist getting up and down the stairs, along with grab bars, CO and smoke alarms, LED lightbulbs, and fire extinguishers.
“So many of the Rebuilding Together clients’ homes pose multiple challenges,” said Don Ryan, Director of Partnerships for Rebuilding Together AFF. “This is a shining example of multiple partners collaborating to make their home safe, healthy, and energy efficient.”
For these life-changing improvements, Rebuilding Together AFF connected the Suddarths with Dinh Tran from Tran Energy Services to evaluate their inoperable HVAC system. Tran Energy Services is a subcontractor for CHP Energy Services and works with many of its programs, including the Dominion Energy EnergyShare program that offers energy efficiency improvements to qualified families in need. Late summer of 2022, EnergyShare launched a campaign called 40 Homes in 40 Days to highlight the program’s 40th anniversary. The Suddarth home was selected as one of the marquee homes in the campaign which allowed for additional beautification improvements to occur.
Tran Energy Services first scheduled a site visit with the Suddarths to perform a whole home energy audit. The audit identified energy efficiency measures that can be performed or installed at the home. After the audit, Tran Energy Services went to work replacing the 34-year-old HVAC system with a new high efficiency heat pump system. Though the immediate need was replacing the inoperable HVAC system, the company completed additional work to make the home more energy efficient, safe, and comfortable including duct work modifications to improve air flow, air sealing to tighten the building envelope, adding 12 inches of insulation in the attic, and replacing two bath exhaust fans to help with moisture control.
All the work completed by Tran Energy Services was made possible by Dominion Energy and its EnergyShare program. For qualifying customers, energy efficiency improvements are provided at no-cost to the customer. “It’s amazing to see how truly effective it can be when multiple organizations collaborate with each other to achieve a common goal,” said Dinh Tran, owner of Tran Energy Services. “Together we provided meaningful upgrades to the Suddarths’ home that make it safer, more comfortable, and improved their energy efficient so that they can continue to remain in their family home for the foreseeable future.”
Dominion Energy has implemented this program for 40 years and has assisted thousands of individuals and families in need. The campaign asked Virginia weatherization service providers to identify 40 homes throughout Dominion Energy’s service territory. Once identified, audits were scheduled, and then work began shortly after.
While all 40 homes were served in the 40-day window, select homes in the campaign were designated marquee homes, where Dominion Energy employees volunteered to help with additional projects on the Suddarth’s home. Some of these projects included exterior painting, landscaping, fence repair, shed leveling, and laying pathway pavers.
CHP Energy Solutions provides services through EnergyShare for Dominion Energy in multiple localities throughout Virginia. CHP Energy Solutions’ role at the Suddarth home was to manage the project, coordinating services provided by Rebuilding Together AFF, Tran Energy Services, and Dominion Energy volunteers while connecting and working with all parties to ensure a smooth process for the Suddarths.
Through the strong partnerships between CHP Energy Solutions, Dominion Energy, Rebuilding Together AFF, and Tran Energy Services, nearly 25 volunteers came together to help improve the energy efficiency and health and safety of Lisa and Ron’s home. These partnerships are what allow the community to reach more people in need and provide the most benefit to a home.
CHP Energy Solutions is proud to partner with organizations that care about the people in its footprint and that are willing to help the area’s most vulnerable residents. “It was truly gratifying to be part of the collaboration to help such a deserving couple and bring some joy and good into their life,” said Doug Scharr, Program Manager with CHP Energy Solutions, which is the largest weatherization service provider in Virginia and operates 23 programs in 95 localities, while also partnering with utilities to administer and implement their qualifying energy efficient programs. (Learn more about how CHP Energy Solutions used RGGI funds to help a client in Elkton.)
Lisa and Ron are forever grateful for these programs and to everyone who helped make their home safer, more comfortable, and more energy efficient. Lisa said, “We can’t express our gratitude enough. We’ve never asked for help before but are so glad we did.”
Energy Efficiency Improvements
- Whole home energy audit
- New HVAC system
- Air sealing
- Duct sealing
- LED light bulbs
- Brush removal
- Fence repair
- Shed leveling
- Deck stairs repair
- Pathway pavers
- Exterior painting
Health and Safety Improvements
- CO detectors
- Smoke detectors
- Fire extinguishers
- Stair rails
- Grab bars
- GFCI receptacles