Direct Energy gives out A/C units to senior citizens


by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 12 at 4:09 PM

HOUSTON -- A fan is no longer the only source of relief for Antonieta Nuncio. She was one of 30 Ripley House senior citizens receiving a free portable A/C unit courtesy of Direct Energy.

One Hour Air Conditioning handled the installation.

"It's hot here," said Williams Fortner, general manager of One Hour Air Conditioning. "Certainly, I wouldn't go without air conditioning and I'm just happy that we can help just a few people."

Nuncio's concerned and curious neighbors were glad to hear about her new air conditioner.

“It's going to be wonderful for her," said Rebecca Leija. "I just put a new unit in my house a couple of months ago and it makes a difference.”

Each job, unit and installation, costs about $1,000.

"Well, I don’t have the money," Nuncio said.

Daniel Rangel, 82, is a widower and Korean War vet. His new portable unit will add a little more to his electric bill, but it will save him money on his water bill.

"I got a fan and I take a bath about two times [each evening]," Rangel said.

He also said that with the new unit he’ll “be sleeping like a baby probably."

"The needy people feel real good about it. I think my people -- they feel really good about it. It kind of gives them a sense of well being that they're able to do something like this," Fortner said.

In Nuncio's house, it was 91 degrees but cooling down fast after her unit was installed.

It turned out to be a special gift for her.

"I didn't expect today, you see, so today is the 7th and today is my birthday," Nuncio said.

Direct Energy routinely gives away portable air conditioners but not to individuals, only through organizations like Ripley House or even churches.