In early 2023, long-time Ward 4 resident and retiree Cerise Turner was approached by Solar Solution, a DCSEU approved solar installer for Solar for All, to receive rooftop solar at no cost. As she began the process of enrollment, the installer informed her of the HVAC Replacement Program, now the Affordable Home Electrificaion Program, that could assist her with replacing her gas water heater. Concerns about potential breakdowns of the 30-year-old water heater and increased utility costs were a challenge that motivated her to move forward with both programs.
Through the HVAC Replacement program, her installer, Greenscape Energy, provided her home with a “heavy-up", increasing the amperage of the electrical service to her home in preparation for the installation of a 50-gallon heat pump water heater. Solar Solution – through Solar for All – then installed solar panels and provided her with a brand-new roof, further enhancing her home's energy efficiency.
Now her home’s HVAC system is gas-free, has an energy-efficient heat pump water heater, and her roof has solar panels to help keep any increased electricity costs at bay. For Ms. Turner, cost matters. Saving on utilities reduces her financial burden, enabling her to reserve money in case an emergency should arise. “Living on social security, energy bills factor greatly. When I was paying the full price, I had to budget, and the budget was much tighter, and some things you must do without, but now I have more money in my pocket that I can do more things with” said Turner.
While initially focused on the financial benefits, she also recognizes the broader environmental impact of electrifying her home. By reducing harmful emissions, improving her home’s indoor air quality, and lowering her carbon footprint, she contributes to a cleaner environment.
As Ms. Senior District of Columbia 2023, a big part of Ms. Turner’s platform is to help DC Seniors achieve technology literacy and avoid scams, frauds, and financial exploitation online. Ms. Turner found the application process to be straightforward and senior-friendly. Her message is clear to all eligible DC residents: "Don't delay; take advantage of these free programs."
Through her electrification journey with the DCSEU, Ms. Turner continues to play a part in creating a more sustainable future for the District, not only improving her own quality of life, but demonstrating that electrification is a possibility for all DC residents.