Success Story: Electrification with Florence Pacheco
Florence Pacheco has lived in her home in Chicago’s Hermosa neighborhood since 1978 when she first bought the house with her husband. After working in the community and raising a family, she now lives on her own and takes care of the neighborhood cats. Florence’s home is a two-story red frame construction single-family home, with a front porch and a wide back yard. Like many Chicago homes, her home is older and was built before 1942.
One of Florences’s biggest challenges has been keeping her home at a comfortable temperature. Her home, built before 1942, did not have a central cooling system or at-code insulation.
“I have an AC unit that I put in the window, but it doesn’t really cool anything. I put it in the bedroom, but the rest of the house is really hot. Last summer I was going to the bedroom a lot to cool down because the rest of the house gets so hot. And then in the winter it’s too cold.”
Florence decided to work with Elevate to make her home more comfortable and efficient with energy efficiency and electrification upgrades. Elevate worked with AT Mechanical to replace her gas furnace with a heat pump, which provides both heating and central air conditioning. Additionally, Elevate worked with DNR Insulation to have insulation installed in the roof and walls, and air sealing completed, which will help her home stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Air sealing and insulation is an important first step to complete at a home before electrification measures like heat pumps are installed to ensure that the home is not losing excess heat through gaps, cracks, or leaks. Without a sealed and insulated home, a heat pump will have to work harder than necessary and can become expensive to operate.
Work Done and Estimated Savings
The following work was completed at Florence’s home. The total cost of this work was $61,561 (free to the homeowner).
- Installed wall and attic insulation
- Professionally air-sealed gaps and cracks in the home
- Replaced gas furnace with electric air source heat pump
- Installed new smart thermostat (Ecobee)
- Replaced water heater to electric heat pump water heater
- Electrical upgrades to the service panel
- Replacement of stove and dryer with electric versions planned in next year
- Estimated Change in Gas Use: 1,038 therms saved annually
- Estimated Change in Electricity Use: 6,740 kWhs added annually (due to electrification)
- Estimated Change in Cost: $537 annual savings (expected to be more after full electrification and eliminating gas bill)
- Estimated Change in Carbon: 98 metric tons of CO2 saved for the lifetime of the measures (30 years)
Elevate braided multiple funding streams to cover the upgrades to Florence’s home at no cost. ComEd supported this work by covering 50% of the costs of electrification work, as part of their Whole Home Electrification Program. A $3.15 million grant from Wells Fargo grant also helped to support Elevate’s work to decarbonize 100 homes for low- and moderate-income residents like Florence.
Elevate’s Building Electrification Program
Our Building Electrification Program (BEP) provides financial support and a full support service delivery model for homeowners and multi-family building owners. We remove and replace on-site combustion of fossil fuels for space heating, hot water, clothes drying, stoves, and ovens with clean energy technologies to create a healthier living environment and generate energy and carbon savings. Our program takes an equitable approach to building electrification by providing these upgrades in communities that have historically been under-resourced.
Learn more about the program at ElevateNP.org/Building-Electrification.
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