DWP Customer and Homeowner, Wilmington
George Romero is an amicable 30 year homeowner in Wilmington and proud grandfather. His house reflects his sources of pride: grandchildren playing, Aztec mandalas, and energy efficient design.
A mentor and sustainability leader in his community, George currently teaches part-time at Southwest College, with a focus on green construction/OSHA. He is passionate about informing low-income young adults about sustainable practices that will better the environment and their working conditions.
Before retiring and teaching, George worked alongside engineers, doing quality assurance in the robotics industry. George’s physics background also enabled him to efficiently retrofit and insulate his own home. He installed fluorescent lights and double pane windows throughout his entire home, amongst other measures. And despite living in a nine person household, his bill is an affordable $80 month, thanks to the energy efficiency retrofits.
After remodeling their own home, some of George’s tenants decided to request HEIP program retrofits for their units to enjoy the same benefits. As his tenants were low-income, they qualified for HEIP on their units, which included new efficient windows and water saving toilets and shower heads.
While George is supportive of environmental home upgrades, he wouldn’t invest in solar. He explained that he did not find it affordable for his family because solar panel installation is too expensive, especially since he is retired.
The expenses would cost him tens of thousands of dollars because he would have to replace his roof first just to support solar panels, which would cost $7000. Plunking down $50,000 more for the solar system and installation is just too cost prohibitive–not just for him, but also his family.
“I’m semi-retired… why would I leave an expense like that for my kids?”
Yet with regards to the Community Solar program, George feels that if his rates stayed the same, he would be interested in enrolling in the program and encouraging others in his community in Wilmington to take part in the program. He feels strongly that the HEIP and Community Solar Programs would benefit his community because the programs would expand environmentally friendly home upgrades and clean energy access.