Malibu Groves HOA president Cynthia Harris, left, distributed OUC bags filled with conservation items to her neighbors, including Barbara Frazier.

The residents of the Malibu Groves community in southwest Orlando got a Thanksgiving Day surprise of OUC conservation goodie bags, compliments of their homeowners association president.

Cynthia Harris spent the entire day driving up and down neighborhood streets as two grandsons, ages 11 and 7, dropped off OUC-branded reusable blue shopping bags at all 300 homes. Included in the bags were brochures on OUC’s Efficiency Delivered® and rebate programs, a package containing a low-flow shower head, faucet aerators, leak detection dye tablets for toilets, and one LED lightbulb. Conservation Specialist I’s Alinx St. Louis and Juan Santiago gathered and delivered the bags to Harris on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

Harris said the impetus of this gesture was to help educate her neighbors on what they could do to conserve energy and water, and save money, too. So she made a call to OUC and asked if we could provide residents in her community with information on our conservation programs and tips on how to make their homes more efficient.

“People need to conserve and be mindful of their expenses, especially now with the pandemic,” she said, explaining why she requested the OUC materials for her neighbors. “I’m very big on conserving water and energy.”

Harris’ neighborhood distribution of OUC conservation items marked a first, said David Mayer, Supervisor of Sustainability. “,” he said. “We hope her neighbors take advantage of the tips and programs we offer to make their homes more efficient.”

Based on Harris’ description of Malibu Groves as a moderate-income community with a lot of senior citizens living on fixed incomes, OUC’s Efficiency Delivered® program could offer the most help to residents wishing to upgrade the efficiency of the homes for nominal out-of-pocket expense.

The program provides up to $2,500 in energy and water efficiency upgrades to a customer’s home, with OUC covering 85% of the costs for households with incomes of less than $40,000 a year. Households with annual incomes of $40,001-$60,000 are eligible for a 50-50 cost-sharing split. Eligible customers can pay the remaining balances over 12 months, interest free. Meanwhile, households with incomes greater than $60,000 a year can take advantage of the rebates OUC offers.

Participation in the Efficiency Delivered® program begins with a free energy/water evaluation by an OUC Conservation Specialist. Currently, this is a modified, in-person visit that follows COVID-19 safety protocols. After determining which improvements would be the most beneficial, the specialist, with the homeowner’s approval, will bring in OUC’s preferred contractor to handle the work and complete the paperwork.

If you own your home and are interested in participating, call 407.423.9018 to get started.