Ms. Bryant is a senior homeowner in Baltimore City’s Belair-Edison neighborhood. Her arthritis began bothering her in November 2020 as the weather turned colder, and when she went to manually turn on her furnace, she realized that it was no longer working. Ms. Bryant was unable to afford a new furnace and her broken furnace was too old to be cost-effective to repair. Worried about the upcoming winter, Ms. Bryant contacted the Maryland Fuel Fund, which in turn referred Ms. Bryant to Civic Works’ Energy Programs.

Civic Works’ Energy Advisor reached out to Ms. Bryant within two days of receiving her as a referral. From there, Civic Works was able to identify Ms. Bryant’s case as a no-heat emergency, and expedite the process of creating a work scope for energy efficiency measures. In December, Civic Works replaced Ms. Bryant’s outdated furnace with a new high-efficiency gas boiler and a smart thermostat to control the temperature settings. Civic Works also coordinated all city permitting logistics to ensure a smooth and seamless installation. “Everyone was so nice and kept me in the loop,” Ms. Bryant said of her experience. “They made sure they kept communicating with me.” In addition to replacing her appliance, Civic Works also coordinated with Ms. Bryant to address health and safety hazards in her home, conduct an energy audit, and begin the process of applying for weatherization services.

Ms. Bryant has emphasized the importance of the energy efficiency services she received. When she didn’t have heat, Ms. Bryant said “I had to carry my space heater with me everywhere I went. I would wear sweatpants and sweatshirts every day, and kept drinking tea to stay warm.” She would take aspirin for her arthritis as needed when it became too uncomfortable. Now, Ms. Bryant is able to live comfortably at home. As a result of the smart thermostat installation, she no longer has to walk down to the basement to manually turn on the furnace. Civic Works also provided Ms. Bryant with carbon monoxide detectors, replaced her lights with LED lightbulbs, and installed a new chimney liner and cap to ensure proper ventilation. Through all these measures, Civic Works helped Ms. Bryant address an emergency no-heat case during the winter months, reduce her energy bills, and strengthen the health and safety of her home.

“Civic Works is a great program, and it’s helped me save on the bill,” Ms. Bryant summarized.

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