NeighborWorks America Gives Five Earth Day, and Everyday, Tips for Energy …

April 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

This Earth Day, NeighborWorks America, one of the largest community
development nonprofit corporations in the U.S., and its network of
more than 235 local nonprofit affiliates are urging consumers to save
money and strengthen the environment by following a few simple,
everyday steps in their homes and neighborhoods. The NeighborWorks
network is one of the largest builders of affordable housing in the
U.S. each year, and the network owns more than 90,000 affordable
rental homes, adding more than 5,000 new apartments each year to its

“Small changes to the way that consumers do things can save money
each year in energy and water utility bills,” said Michelle Winters
at NeighborWorks America. “Everything from turning the thermostat up
a few degrees in the coming summer months, to watering lawns at the
right time this current growing season and throughout the summer can
all add up to measurable household savings.”

Tip One: Set your home thermostat to 78 degrees, and save between six
percent and 18 percent on your electricity bill. Purchasing a
programmable thermostat makes regulating household temperature a
breeze. Many utility companies offer rebates and discounts reducing
the cost.

Tip Two: If you want to know where you could begin to make
substantial cuts in energy usage, arrange a home energy audit. Most
local utilities provide basic reviews, and there are professionals in
the market who provide deeper audits for a fee. You should be sure
that whoever you select to audit your home’s energy usage is
certified. Check state certification procedures with a local utility.

Tip Three: Water lawns between five A.M. and 10 A.M. to maximize
absorption and minimize evaporation.

Tip Four: Take action to buy food produced locally. The availability
of farmers markets are increasing in many communities. By choosing to
buy locally grown food, you reduce the amount of fuel used to
transport goods and support local businesses too.

Tip Five: Choose your appliances wisely. “Energy Star rated
appliances are what to look for,” says Winters. “NeighborWorks
builders use highly rated Energy Star appliances when developing new
houses and apartments and when completing substantial rehabilitation
to existing houses and apartments.”

Below are examples of new and rehabilitated homes and homeowners
services from the NeighborWorks network.

Alliance Apartments, a 184-apartment complex developed to LEED
standards by Aeon, a NeighborWorks network member based in
Minneapolis, MN. Aeon worked with other local nonprofits to transform
a vacant nursing home into a vibrant part of the community.

Recognizing that it takes expertise to transform homes into more
energy efficient places to live, Community Housing Partners, a
NeighborWorks organization based in Christianburg, VA and operating
in several states manages the New River Center for Energy Research
and Training. NCERT has trained more than 23,000 people in
state-of-the-art residential energy conservation techniques.

Boston-based NeighborWorks member Cambridge Neighborhood Apartment
Housing Services (MA) recently earned the first LEED for Homes
Platinum Certification in Massachusetts for its affordable housing
rehab project on 95-97 Pine Street, which also received the Cambridge
Historical Commission Preservation Award and a City of Cambridge Go
Green Award.

NeighborImpact, a NeighborWorks organization in Bend, Oregon,
recently rehabbed a 60-home apartment complex by installing solar
panels to the Healy Heights Apartments. NeighborImpact expects to
reduce the energy costs by $17,000 each year.

In Santa Fe, NM, NeighborWorks network member Homewise, Inc. is
selling new homes that embrace the values of today’s homebuyers who
demand quality, value and energy efficiency. All of the homes in the
new Rincon del Sol community have Energy Star rated appliances,
whole-home fan cooling systems and dual-pane windows for overall
energy efficiency and lower utility costs for homeowners.

About NeighborWorks(R) America
NeighborWorks(R) America creates
opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their
communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and
affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks
organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment
in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading
trainer of community development and affordable housing

        202 220-2360

SOURCE: NeighborWorks America


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