Nia I.
Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)
Location: 
Mattapan
Technology: 
Mini-splits

Human services worker and Mattapan resident Nia I. has cut her average electric bill in half since receiving mini-splits last fall through MassCEC’s Low-Income Challenge.

“Wow, it blew my mind,” Nia said. “Normally the bill is anywhere from $400 to $500, and it was more like $200. I was like, ‘Let me look at that again!’”

The initiative funded the adoption of clean energy technologies for low-income residents like Nia across the state. As part of the program, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) coordinated the installation of mini-splits for 67 homeowners earning less than 60 percent of the state median income and receiving fuel assistance from ABCD to power their old, inefficient electric heating systems. Mini-splits are more efficient than traditional electric heating, and Nia is able to save even more than the average adopter because she received her system for free through the initiative.

In addition to saving her money, Nia has noticed that the mini-splits have made her house more comfortable, the air more breathable and the temperature easier to control. She will be putting her savings toward paying her other bills.

Nia’s mini-splits don’t overheat like her electric baseboards did, and they also work better than the window-mounted air conditioners she used to use. As an added benefit, she no longer has to lug the conditioners in and out as the seasons change.

Other projects completed under the Low Income Challenge include installing 15 solar electric systems on Habitat for Humanity homes on Cape Cod, installing monitoring and optimization equipment on boilers in more than 100 affordable housing developments, and funding energy audits for affordable housing.