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An Interview with Jackie Harris, Energy Savers Recipient

Jackie Harris has been a member of the Chicago Bungalow Association for 15 years. Because it was expensive to heat her uninsulated bungalow, she applied for the Energy Savers program, was approved, and had the work completed in August 2018.

On that day in August our Executive Director, Mary Ellen Guest, and our Deputy Director, Gillian Wineman accompanied the DNR Construction crew to Jackie's bungalow in Auburn Gresham so that homeowner and association could watch the whole process together.

Now that the cold months have come, we wanted to check in on Jackie to ask how the insulation has made an improvement in her home and how her experience was going through the Energy Savers program.

If you're thinking about applying for Energy Savers or have already applied and are waiting for your appointment, Jackie's honest answers might give you a clearer picture of the process and benefits!

Jackie Harris and Mary Ellen Guest, 8/29/18

Interview with Jackie Harris, Chicago Bungalow Association Member and Energy Savers Recipient, on January 9, 2019

Chicago Bungalow Association: How did you hear about the Energy Savers program?

Jackie Harris: I was at the library and saw a flyer about the Chicago Bungalow Association. It was when I initially bought the house 15 years ago. Then a couple years after that, I learned about the different things you offer. I applied for Energy Savers because it was expensive to heat my house, but I wasn't able to afford insulation.

CBA: What were the concerns you had going into it and how were they addressed? You can be completely honest!

JH: What they have to do was kind of understated because they had to go in every area of my home, from the basement to the attic. So that kind of amazed me. I was like, “Wow! This is what it takes to get all this done!”

CBA: When the contractors were there doing the work, and before when they were doing the assessment, how well did they answer your questions and explain what was going on?

JH: I didn't know what the program exactly entails, so I didn't ask the right questions. But the contractors explained it all as best as they could to someone who doesn’t have the terminology or knowledge of the steps.

CBA: In terms of politeness and respect, how did you feel you were treated by the contractor crew?

JH: They showed courtesy and ensured me that everything’s going to be okay. They cleaned up after themselves, and just were friendly throughout, talking and socializing.

CBA: After all the work was done and it started to get cold, did you notice a change in the comfort level in your home?

JH: There’s a big difference! I used to run the heating units pretty much all day to get it warm in here. It stays at a constant, well-adjusted level now. It’s comfortable, and lowered the heating bill. It’s a big reduction.

CBA: Okay, that was our next question: Have you noticed a change in your bills?

JH: Yes! I usually paid like up to $300-$400 every month. Now it’s down to about $180-$200.

CBA: Are there any other differences you noticed since you got the work done?

JH: Mainly that it’s not as chilly or cold as it would normally be!

CBA: Can you think of anything else you want to share about how satisfied you were?

JH: I’m just grateful that you were able to come in and help because I wasn’t ever able to afford to get it done. It’s a blessing. It’s something that I really appreciate and recommend to others. And I did! I went downtown to your office and Mary Ellen gave me flyers about the program. There are a lot of elderly folks on my block. I went to their houses to tell them it’s worth it to get your house insulated—especially older people, who want to have a warmer home. I talked to other folks too. They said they would think about it. Then I did see the [DNR Construction] truck out there in front of one house!

Check your eligibility and apply for the Energy Savers program:

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