“The kids danced, they were so happy to feel the heat.” – Felicia Pettis
For an entire winter, Felicia lived with a low-functioning furnace. She often woke to ice on the insides of the windows, regularly turned on the oven to warm the house, and moved the space heater from room to room, trying to keep her small children warm. By the second winter, she also had a six-month old infant, and knew she had to make a change.
“We were getting very cold. We needed heat 24/7. This year we turned the heat all the way up, but it still wasn’t enough,” she says.
“We easily paid $200 per month on the heating bill. We just couldn’t do it anymore.”
College educated with a graduate degree, Felicia had lost her job three years ago, and the family experienced a significant reduction in income. No extra money was available for improvements to things like the heating system. “Our focused shifted to just maintaining the house. We had no budget for other things,” she says.
For the first time in her life, Felicia called on government assistance for help. “I never thought I’d use services like this, even though I know they are life-savers for a lot of people.”
The Low-income Energy Assistance Program provided Felicia with needed financial help, and referred her to Veterans Green Jobs for a furnace fix.
The Veterans Green Jobs weatherization crew replaced the Pettis family’s furnace – which was original to the 1957 home – with a brand new, energy-efficient unit. They nearly tripled the amount of insulation in the attic, vented the dryer, installed a ventilation fan in the bathroom, air-sealed the doors, and provided smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well as CFL lightbulbs.
Learning about Veterans Green Jobs’ free weatherization services was very welcome news to Felicia. “I was speechless. It was a gift. There was no stigma, no shame.
The kids danced the next morning, they were so happy to feel the heat coming out.”
And this spring, Felicia says she didn’t even mind about the cold sticking around late in the season.
“So many people complained about the late-season snow. But I didn’t care. It makes me so happy to have a warm comfortable home for my three children.”
Veterans Green Jobs provides comprehensive home performance services to income-qualified homes with funding from the Colorado Energy Office, the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships and Xcel Energy, and with the collaboration of the Denver Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. These services make homes greener, healthier and safer while reducing the burden of high energy costs.