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Success Story

Burnette Holder, Portland

Estimated annual savings: $190

An innovative collaboration between Community Energy Project and Energy Trust is helping low-income Portland residents enjoy the benefits of energy efficiency and reduced energy bills.

Nonprofit Community Energy Project, which has a long history of reaching residents with low incomes and communities of color, installs heat pump water heaters in low-income homes at no cost to the participants. Sponsored by Energy Trust, the effort tests a new model of program design that taps into the networks of community-based organizations to deliver services to wider audiences.

“This program was a blessing for me,” said Burnette Holder, who contacted Community Energy Project when her aging water heater failed. “They handled everything and even showed me how to adjust the temperature if I need to.” 

An Energy Trust cash incentive of $875 offset the full cost of the water heater for Holder, who will save an estimated $190 on her annual energy bill—stretching her income for other important needs.“

So far, Community Energy Project and Energy Trust have helped 27 low-income Portland residents take advantage of heat pump water heaters through this small startup effort. Many more customers are expected to benefit in 2019.