The United States Department of Energy has selected Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley as one of the winners of the 2019 Housing Innovation Award winners! This award was presented for Habitat’s work in building Zero-Energy Ready affordable housing and marks the fourth straight year that Habitat Catawba Valley has received this honor.
Zero Energy Ready homes have been a priority for Habitat Catawba Valley for years: back in 2016, two Habitat Catawba homes were certified Zero Energy Ready, the first two homes in the state of North Carolina to achieve the certification. Being certified as Zero Energy Ready means that these homes are highly energy efficient and can have all or most of their energy use “offset” by a renewable energy system, like solar power. This is achieved in part due to strong insulation systems, which help to increase energy efficiency while preventing heat transfer.
While energy-efficiency is often a feature of higher-income housing, Habitat Catawba Valley has made it a priority for new construction affordable housing. Energy-efficient housing makes it easier to properly and consistently maintain proper heating and cooling levels, which lower-income housing often struggles with. This makes the homes more affordable for homeowners to maintain over the lifetime of the house.