Anthony and Lydia Prysock, a retired couple living in the Walnut Tree community, were the recipients of a new high efficiency heating and cooling heat pump, a washer and dryer, and safety measure upgrades to their home through the Helping Home Fund. The two-year initiative, launched in January of 2015 by Duke Energy, reduces the burden of energy costs and electricity for families in North Carolina. The $20 million community investment pays up to $10,000 per household for repairs, new appliances, retrofitting for efficiency, and other electricity costs based on household income.
Last winter, the Prysock’s were paying nearly $400 a month using baseboard heating, a grueling amount for the couple who are on a fixed income. While they’ve slowly completed home renovations over the years, there was a mounting list of more to do.
“I noticed one of my neighbors down the street was having a heat pump put in and I asked the contractor to write up an estimate of how much it would cost at our house,” Prysock said. “But as I was talking to the young lady, she told me about this program and I gave them a call.”
After doing some research, Prysock realized he and his wife were eligible for Duke Energy’s Helping Home Fund, and the program would easily cut his power bill in half.
“We applied and went through the process. I’m really thankful for this and for Duke Energy giving to our area. This is how you rebuild communities. What little money we did have we redid the cabinets and put on a new roof. It would have been a long time before we could have done anything like this.”
The Helping Home Fund has invested over $175,000 in Stokes County and helped 55 families receive energy-saving upgrades at no charge to income-qualified customers.
“The Prysock’s are one of more than 2,000 families we’ve helped all over North Carolina. We’ve spent almost $10 million dollars and we still have about another $10 million,” explained Lisa Parrish, Duke Energy’s Government and Community Relations Manager. “We have great organizations we work with like YVEDDI that just know how to get it done.”
Tommy Eads, the weatherization director from YVEDDI, said the program has been flooded with applicants and said when considering homes, they look at household size, yearly kilowatts usage, and income.
“We’ve done several houses on this street and some others close by. There’s 334 projects that we have either started or completed in homes from Stokes, Surry, Yadkin and Davie. We service all four counties with the state and the Duke Energy program,” Eads said. “It’s great to be able to help the community. I feel like we get to be a part of making a difference one homeowner at a time.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.