Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties took home the 2023 Environmental Steward Award during AMPLIFY Clearwater’s Annual Stellar Awards Event at Ruth Eckerd Hall this past Friday night.
All our Habitat homes are Energy Star rated and built at least 10% more energy efficient than standard new homes built to code – and even more compared to existing homes. We believe that a better environment starts inside the house. That means having a fresh-air system with a high-performance filter to improve indoor air quality. This is designed for optimal comfort but also contributes to a cleaner, healthier environment – inside and out. Habitat homes also help reduce energy bills by 40% relative to code-built homes and 60%-70% relative to a family’s old rental unit prior to owning a Habitat home.
Our Habitat affiliate also participates in Habitat for Humanity International’s BuildBetter with Whirlpool initiative, which promotes the incorporation of energy-efficient features like water-conserving plumbing fixtures and high-efficiency heating and cooling appliances in new home construction projects. This program helps homeowners mitigate the impact of climate change with more energy-efficient and resilient homes.
Habitat received the 2023 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) ENERGY STAR Partners of the Year Award for new home builds. Habitat also won the 2022 US EPA and DOE ENERGY STAR Market Leader Award. Both awards are given to organizations that have made a significant positive impact in energy-efficient construction and environmental protection by building or verifying at least 50 ENERGY STAR-certified homes in a 12-month period. Habitat built 67 homes in its 2021-22 fiscal year and 73 homes in its 2022-23 fiscal year.
Habitat’s homeownership education program is made up of 32 homebuyer classes and includes a focus on energy and environmental consciousness. We teach a class called “Energy Conservation,” in which we go over ways to save on electric bills, long-lasting lightbulbs, and water usage for cleaning clothes and dishes. Our “Lawncare” class demonstrates the environmental benefits of using an electric mower and the best watering practices for grass and plants. Our “Home Maintenance 3” class includes teaching future homeowners about choosing natural-based cleaning products as opposed to ones with harmful chemicals. We even include information about recycling your Christmas tree in our “Fire & Safety” class.
Our Habitat ReStores play an important role in our environmental stewardship. Each year, we keep nearly 800 tons of reusable materials, such as furniture, appliances, plumbing, doors, windows, and building materials, from landfills. Our ReStores also sell eco-friendly paint brands – GreenSheen and Evolve paints. Both brands are made from recycled materials, prevent landfill dumping, and reduce pollution.
Learn more about Habitat’s ENERGY STAR efficient homes.