What Clean Energy Works Oregon participants are saying

Hammer & Hand’s home performance program coordinator shares what she’s been hearing.

Last week’s post, “Is ‘home performance’ more like a Toyota or a beet?”, touched on what we at Hammer & Hand see as the essence of Clean Energy Works Oregon and the larger field of home performance.

Blower door test - home energy audit.But what do clients think?  And why do people sign up with Clean Energy Works Oregon for a home energy audit and retrofit in the first place?

I recently sat down with Hammer & Hand’s Sara Badiali to ask her just that.  As the program coordinator for our home performance team, she’s in a unique position to assess this.  From the first phone call with a CEWO client to project wrap-up she’s in close communication with our customers, discussing expectations, addressing concerns, and celebrating successes.

When I asked her what the main hope CEWO participants had when they started a project, her answer was quick.

“Comfort. People want to be able to walk around their house in socks,” Sara explained.  “When people come to us they’ll say, ‘we can feel the wind through the windows,’ or ‘our house feels like a sieve.’  Then, when the work is done, clients are so surprised and happy by how fundamentally we’ve transformed the way their house feels.”

“It’s exciting for me personally because we’re making people really happy,” Sara told me.  “Before coming to Hammer & Hand I didn’t always have that experience in architecture and construction.”

“It makes sense.  Our clients’ houses are home for them, and comfort is a pretty fundamental need,” Sara continued.  “After a retrofit, clients can show off their home without being embarrassed by how chilly or drafty it is.”

Clean Energy Works Oregon home energy retrofit in NE PortlandThat certainly matches what I’ve heard from clients in writing about Clean Energy Works Oregon.  In this post about our CEWO retrofit of a NE Portland cottage, the homeowner, Jody, says only half-jokingly: “Now friends and family don’t make fun of me anymore for how cold my house is, and they can take their coats off when they come over!”

Patty, a client of ours in SE Portland, just posted this today in her Google review of Hammer & Hand: “Immediately after the work was done, the first thing I noticed was that my home was quieter.  Now, I can take my hat and coat off when I’m home.  I can’t wait to see what summer brings to the house, and I hope I will see a big savings in my utility bills.”

And I’ve shared before Portland Business Journal’s Andy Giegerich comments about his CEWO experience with Hammer & Hand.  “The contractors finished their work in five days.  We immediately felt the results,” writes Giegerich.  “Our basement no longer has the feeling of a cold cellar.  The insulation in particular has spiked the temperature by a solid 10 degrees.  And that’s even before we crank up the new furnace.”

It’s gratifying to take these older houses that our clients rightly adore and transform them into comfortable, efficient, quiet, healthy places to live.  And all of us – client, contractor, and CEWO alike – can feel good about the environmental benefits of the endeavor, too.

– Zack

P.S. To apply to CEWO, jot down instant rebate code “CNHHA” (important if you want Hammer & Hand as your contractor), visit cewo.org, and enter “CNHHA” in the quick online application.

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