Ms. Robinson recently bought her first home in Harford County with her husband and three children. As she was looking for ways to permanently reduce her energy bills, she learned about Civic Works’ weatherization program and decided to reach out.
Upon reaching out in the summer of 2021, Ms. Robinson was connected to an Energy Advisor, Civic Works’ in-house customer advocate and guide throughout the weatherization process. “Quandra was amazing. She was very knowledgeable about everything I needed. She’s absolutely a community advocate for her clients. [Civic Works] takes the time to really get to know their clients, help them identify their needs, and refer them to programs that are available even if they’re outside of Civic Works.”
A week after calling, Ms. Robinson was scheduled for an energy audit. During the energy audit, Civic Woks provided free LED light bulbs, advanced power strips, pipe insulation, and faucet aerators, as well as a work scope for deeper energy efficiency measures. Over the next few months, Ms. Robinson received a whole-home weatherization, an energy efficient hot water heater, and a new HVAC system.
“The hot water heater has been super helpful,” Ms. Robinson said. “I used to not be able to give my sons baths back-to-back because the water would run cold. Now it feels like we have unlimited hot water and my daughter loves it. It’s a game changer.
“We didn’t know when we moved here that our hot water heater wasn’t efficient enough for the amount of people we have in the household,” Ms. Robinson went on to explain. “Our energy auditor was the one who came and told us that upgrading to a larger one, with new energy savings technology, would provide us with more hot water and save energy too.”
Ms. Robinson absolutely recommends the program to others. “For so many of these community assistance programs, there’s red tape, there’s confusion and hoops to jump through. But my experience with Civic Works was pretty seamless.” In particular, Ms. Robinson praised Civic Works’ customer advocacy through the Energy Advisors. “My Energy Advisor’s approach was: ‘I got you. You let me know all of your concerns and that way I’ll know who I need to talk to.’ Her level of confidence and commitment is imperative for these programs to work and their impact on the community. The trust has to be there… I have to trust you to be my advocate.”
Ms. Robinson also took the time to explain the larger impact of energy efficiency in her life and community. “You can’t imagine how much of a blessing that is, to not have to pay for attic insulation, HVAC, and a hot water heater out of pocket,” she said. “It’s about not having to worry about that cost when we have kids in the house. The burden taken off of community members is priceless.”