Cecilia's Story

"Well that's bad," thought Cecilia when she felt a raindrop in her living room

“One day I was standing [by my front window] on a rainy day and I felt a drop on my head. Then I looked and somehow, the ceiling on the frame was gone, and the windowsill near the bottom was rotted. I thought well, that’s bad”

Cecilia McDonald is a committed, resourceful homeowner. She has attended a home maintenance class, signed up for a fixed rate energy plan to help with budgeting, and diligently cares for her home. When she noticed a drop of water fall inside her living room, Cecilia knew that potential water damage could lead to serious problems.  Yet the idea of additional repairs was stressful for Cecilia, who considered fixing the issue herself and whowas already dealing with more than just her windows.

Last year, Cecilia spent approximately $500 in service fees, only to learn that she would still need a new furnace and hot water tank as her existing appliances could give out any day. Having just paid for several major repairs, including a new roof and an awning, Cecilia was already setting money aside to install new gutters - not a new furnace and a new window.

“It really pinches when you’re not working and accumulating money anymore," she says. “If you don’t do these jobs, then it can damage your home."

Cecilia moved from British Columbia to Alberta for a job in the 1980s. Today, she lives on her own in a half-duplex in Edmonton. Despite her best home maintenance efforts, Cecilia’ home, especially her bedroom and doorway, were always cold.

“The wind off that door – the draft – if anybody sits in a chair by the stairwell they have to have a blanket on them in the wintertime," she said referring to her front door.

One day, while watching the news, Cecilia saw a previous HUP participant’s testimonial.  

“How can you lose when something’s free?” she asked herself.

She decided to learn more about the program and was impressed by how quickly her application was processed. Thanks to HUP, Cecilia received a new furnace, water heater, lightbulbs, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as general air sealing to maximize the impact of these new energy-efficient upgrades. Her living room window was also replaced, and the HUP team provided some ceiling repair to run a new exhaust for her HVAC equipment.  

“WOW! Did that make a difference!” said Cecilia.

She also took this opportunity to learn more about home maintenance from Russ, HUP’s Edmonton-based construction manager and energy assessor, and HUP’s trades partners.  

“I can’t say enough about how kind, personal, and respectful all the tradesmen have been. They’ve just been awesome.”

HUP is proud to help Albertans like Cecilia make their homes more comfortable and more affordable by installing fully subsidized energy-efficient upgrades. As the cost-of-living increases, homeowners shouldn’t have to sacrifice home comfort and safety.

The program is made possible thanks to the generosity of our funding partners: Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, the City of Calgary, the City of Edmonton, ENMAX, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, the McConnell Foundation, Suncor Energy Foundation, and Calgary Foundation.

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