The Issue: Family Budgets Strained by Energy Costs
Habitat for Humanity reports that low-income families in Atlanta often spend more than 15% of their income on energy to operate their homes. However, energy-efficient improvements can help cut those costs by more than 40%. According to data from the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy’s Energy Star program, an Energy Star–certified water heater can save the average household almost $300 per year. Instead paying for energy, low-income families can use that money for mortgage payments, transportation, and food, and very low-income households can use it to avoid receiving ongoing subsidies.
The Campaign: Funding an Energy-Efficient Water Heater
If this Grassroots campaign raises $700, then Habitat for Humanity of Colorado can purchase an energy-efficient water heater for one of its newly built houses. Energy-efficient water heaters emit less carbon dioxide and reduce the household’s electricity consumption. By reducing overall consumption, it can lower a family’s monthly utility bills and keep them on the path to self-sufficiency. Each additional $700 raised will fund an energy-efficient water heater for another house.
Check out more Groupon Grassroots campaigns here.
Habitat for Humanity of Colorado
The first Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Colorado sprouted up in 1979 with the purpose of building simple, affordable homes for low-income families and spreading a sense of community. Since then, 28 more affiliates have strapped on their tool belts and joined in. In 2008, Habitat for Humanity of Colorado built its 1,000th home, sparking a campaign to build 1,000 more in the next three years.
When Habitat for Humanity builds a home, it enlists the help of the family who will be living there. They dedicate their time and sweat to completing the project alongside volunteers, neighbors, donors, churches, and other supporters, engendering a spirit of renewal and togetherness. Once they move in, families pay a no-interest mortgage with monthly payments based on 25% of their income. These payments go into a revolving fund that promotes the construction of more homes.