SaskEnergy and Habitat for Humanity have teamed up for the 2016 SaskEnergy Home Energy Legacy Program (HELP). Starting today, three low-income Saskatoon families, selected by Habitat for Humanity, will receive energy efficient upgrades and improvements to their homes – retrofits they would not otherwise be able to afford. Each HELP home will have an ENERGY STAR® qualified furnace installed and depending on requirements, may also receive an ENERGY STAR® qualified water heater, windows or doors, programmable thermostat, attic or basement insulation, water-saving toilets and showerheads.
Volunteers from both SaskEnergy and Habitat for Humanity will be helping complete the energy efficiency improvements in Saskatoon. SaskEnergy Network Member - Razor Heating & Air Conditioning will be installing ENERGY STAR® qualified Carrier furnaces, ENERGY STAR® qualified water heaters, programmable thermostats and water saving toilets for selected households; and, PolyPlus Insulators will be topping up the attic insulation.
“Habitat for Humanity and SaskEnergy are proud to partner in the Home Energy Legacy Program to provide a little hand up to families who face a huge financial obstacle in replacing their outdated furnace. This change will yield big results in the long run by reducing utility bills, with the added benefit of reducing the emissions from their homes,” said Shannon Doka, SaskEnergy’s Community Involvement Leader.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with SaskEnergy for the HELP program,” said Barb Cox-Lloyd, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Saskatoon. “Through this program we are able to keep home ownership affordable. Habitat for Humanity believes that every person should have safe, decent and affordable housing. If the heating bill is so high that there is no money left for groceries or other bills this is not affordable home ownership. The HELP program gives us the opportunity to address this need in the community.”
A structural inspection and energy audit were performed on each of the participating homes by Amerispec Inspection Services. These reports provide an energy rating for the home, as well as recommendations for retrofits that will best reduce energy costs and improve the home’s overall energy efficiency. SaskEnergy and Habitat for Humanity use these reports to help determine priority improvements that will most benefit the homeowner.
Installing an ENERGY STAR® qualified furnace can have the greatest impact for homeowners. Space heating is the largest energy user in a home, accounting for approximately 50 per cent of a home’s energy use. An ENERGY STAR® qualified furnace will work more efficiently and economically throughout the year, provide better air circulation, even temperature distribution and reduce natural gas and electrical costs. Another significant improvement to energy efficiency is proper insulation which can reduce energy loss through air escape routes around the home by 25 to 40 per cent.
On average homeowners participating in the Home Energy Legacy Program may realize an average savings of 30 per cent on their energy bill. To date, the program has helped 54 families in nine communities. In 2016, the return of HELP sees three homeowners in Saskatoon and two in Regina being ‘HELPed”.
For more information about the program, contact:
Marketing and Communications, Habitat
for Humanity Saskatoon
Community Involvement Leader
Attention News Directors and Assignment Editors:
On May 30 and 31 homeowners will be available to media for photos and interviews between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Please call Shannon or Lindsay to make arrangements. Thank you.
Proud supporters of the 2016 SaskEnergy Home Energy Legacy Program in Saskatoon include:
Information about the 2016 Saskatoon HELP participants:
Donna has lived in her 1974 home for eighteen years with two very active teenagers. Donna has managed to complete a number of retrofits to-date on her own. The Home Energy Legacy Program will provide a top-up of attic insulation and a new low flow toilet to help her complete a few more energy efficient upgrades to her home.
Leanne & Carmen are a very busy family of 5. Homeownership is new to them and home maintenance is one of their major priorities. Through the Home Energy Legacy Program, Leanne & Carmen will receive a new ENERGY STAR® qualified high-efficiency furnace, programmable thermostat, water heater and attic insulation that will help keep their heating costs down and help them to remain in their home.
Crystal and her son have been on their own for the past three years. Having gone through a few winters of very high utilities bills Crystal was eager to find a solution to upgrade their 1970s furnace. Through the Home Energy Legacy Program, Crystal will receive energy-efficient upgrades, including a new ENERGY STAR® qualified furnace, programmable thermostat, attic insulation, and front and back doors, which in the long term will help her save money and provide peace of mind for many more winters to come.