Home Energy Retrofits

This project represents Holland at its cutting-edge best."

Peter Boogaart—Task Force Chair

Energy Efficiency in Habitat for Humanity Homes

Last winter, Holland BPW participated in a Home Energy Retrofit pre-pilot program to provide energy audits and efficiency renovations for four Habitat for Humanity homes. The Home Energy Retrofit Task Force is a part of long-term Holland’s Community Energy Plan, and it organized the initiative in collaboration with the city, Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity, HBPW, and other local organizations.

Details of the Inspection

The energy audits consisted of a thorough inspection of each home’s insulation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as household appliances and lighting. Inspectors looked for opportunities to reduce energy bills, improve air quality, increase home value, and increase family comfort and health. With their recommendations, Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity organized a team of retrofit specialists to perform the improvements, which included new furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters, improved ventilation and duct sealing.

While the investment for each home ranged from $5,000 to $12,000, the cost to homeowners was significantly lower, around $2,300 to $4,000 with the help of rebates, grants, incentives from HBPW and local philanthropy. With hundreds in savings each year, many of the improvements will pay for themselves in ten years or fewer.

“This project represents Holland at its cutting-edge best,” said Peter Boogaart, chair of the task force. “It succeeds on so many levels—building capacity for neighborhood revitalization, saving energy, and preserving precious natural resources.”

With the success of the pre-pilot, the Home Energy Retrofit Task Force is now rolling out a more comprehensive pilot program. The committee has already received 92 applications, 25 of which will be chosen to participate in the program in late 2014.