Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties is participating in Habitat for Humanity International’s BuildBetter with Whirlpool initiative to build energy-efficient, hazard-resilient homes in Pinellas and West Pasco. Habitat affiliates across the country will incorporate energy-efficient features including water-conserving plumbing fixtures, and high-efficiency heating and cooling appliances in new home construction projects.
The BuildBetter with Whirlpool program, launched by Habitat for Humanity and Whirlpool in June 2021, is a three-phase initiative that expands upon Habitat’s current efforts to help homeowners mitigate the impact of climate change with more energy-efficient and resilient homes. In the first two years of BuildBetter with Whirlpool,140 homes have been built above local code standards with energy and hazard resilience options.
In a recent report by the Joint Centers for Housing Studies of Harvard University, low-income households across the U.S. struggled the most to pay energy bills at the beginning of 2022 due to a high energy burden and spent nearly 13% of their income on utilities. As the global affordable housing challenge is exacerbated by the unprecedented climate challenge, low-income households in Florida are faced with forgoing paying for necessities such as food or medicine or keeping their homes at unsafe or unhealthy temperatures to limit energy output. Through the BuildBetter with Whirlpool program, Habitat homeowners will have the potential to save on monthly utility bills using energy-efficient appliances and improve health outcomes.
Since 1999, Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity have been working together to build affordable homes and communities with families in need of a decent place to live. Over the course of its 22-year partnership, the company has donated more than $130 million to Habitat and has supported programs in 45 countries. Along with monetary support, Whirlpool has donated more than 200,000 energy-efficient appliances. The company also engages its employees to volunteer with Habitat to build homes alongside future homeowners.