Friday, May 9, 2014
Jesse and Jennifer Elliott have done a number of weatherization projects for others through their church. The tables turned on May 6, and they were the recipients thanks to SCE&G.
The Elliotts make their home on Lake Avenue, and while they love their historic home, the electric bill was a bit too rich for their blood. Due to the age of the home, it was built in 1899 according to Zillow.com, it was not very energy efficient. At their peak, the bills were sometimes as high as $700 or $800, Jessie said.
“We love the old house, we love the character and everything about it, except that,” he said. “It’s almost another house payment in the colder months. We were saving money to try and do some insulation, because we knew that would help a lot, and we got close to it. Then (Jennifer)’s mom said we should talk to SCE&G and see if they have any programs. We called and figured, at best, they would come out and give us some advice.”
The Elliotts said that the same day as the call went out that SCE&G was at their doorstep. The employee told them about the weatherization project and said they may be a fit. Jennifer said that she and her husband sat down and made a to-do list in November. Then Jesse was laid off from his job in early December, which threw a wrench into their plans.
Sam Dozier, vice president of customer service with SCE&G, said the company works with the South Carolina Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. For the Elliotts, they also reached out to the Aiken Barnwell Community Action Commission.
“We just identify homes that are in need of weather stripping and potential replacement of HVAC units,” Dozier said. “We also look at new windows or caulking, new water heaters, and just attempt to make the homes more weather efficient. It’s important to us. Our very first value is serving our communities, so what you see are a lot of company employees who are happy to give up their time and enjoy doing this.”
SCE&G did extensive gutter work, cut down some trees and removed debris, insulated the attic and did a lot of caulking work to the Elliotts’ home.
Jesse and Jennifer looked at 40 to 50 homes on their search, and once they saw the one on Lake Avenue, they knew that it was where they wanted to be.
“All of this work makes it a reality to be our long-term house,” Jesse said. “If we are paying $700, $800 on top of a house payment, that really isn’t doable. Not when you have three kids and me hoping this new job will work out. This will help with our peace of mind.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since 2013.