Low-income families to benefit from Habitat energy-efficiency project
A triplex built to one of Vermont’s higher energy-efficient standards will help low-income families save on utility costs for years to come.
Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity recently completed its first project in Essex Junction, a home that allows the new owners to live more comfortably and spend less on energy, all while building equity through homeownership, according to Vermont Biz.
The three families residing in the multi-family building were selected based on need.
Efficiency Vermont estimates that the families living in the triplex will spend approximately $900 less per year on energy than the average household in the state. Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity homeowner families are typically leaving rental housing that is significantly less efficient than the average Vermont home.
“High energy bills hit everybody, but they’re a huge percentage of income for the people we serve,” said Catherine Stevens, Advancement Director for Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity. “Low energy bills, along with a mortgage payment less than what the family paid in rent, provide the family with the ability to improve their economic stability.”
The newly built homes feature continuous exterior wall insulation, greater air-tightness, high-efficiency balanced heat recovery ventilation and mechanical systems, as well as high-efficiency appliances and lighting.
Those measures secured federal Energy Star and Indoor airPLUS certifications for the homes by following Efficiency Vermont Certified Homes Base 2.0 level, a new and improved 2018 protocol for residential construction developed by Efficiency Vermont.
The federal certifications mean the new homes are more energy efficient than virtually anything else on the market, while also minimizing residents’ exposure to airborne pollutants and contaminants. As a result, the homes are not only more affordable through lower energy bills, they’re also more comfortable, more durable and healthier.