Did you know that houses utilizing energy efficient methods instead of standard methods could save a family between $500 and $900 per year? This is especially important in Appalachia where much of the current housing stock is old or poorly insulated, leaving families to pay enormous utility bills. While these improvements cost extra upfront, they pay for themselves within 5 to 8 years and continue to save the homeowners money through the life of the home. This is money that families can use towards other necessities such as groceries or medicine or rainy day savings.
Energy efficient housing takes many forms. It can be as simple as weatherizing a home – sealing cracks, installing new windows, and using proper insulation. It can also mean setting a home up to use a heat pump instead of a coal burning stove, or designing the architecture to make use of the sun for heating and cooling purposes.
Fahe and our Members tackle energy efficiency in different ways. Some of our Members are strictly homebuilders and integrate these techniques into the homes they build and sell at affordable rates. Some of our Members work only with existing homes to help families who cannot afford a newer home. Thanks to outside donations and funding, many of these programs are available at a reduced rate to families in need and sometimes completely free.
Another part of energy efficiency comes into play with affordable rentals. We have taken the lead on adaptive rehabilitation of old buildings in Appalachia. This process involves renovating older structures, such as schoolhouses, and turning them into affordable, quality living spaces. By adapting and reusing existing structures instead of tearing them down, we produce less waste and require less building materials. This process also reduces the time that families have to wait before moving in. Coupled with energy efficient building practices, adaptive rehabilitation saves money and saves our environment.
Energy efficiency in housing is one of the ways we help Appalachian families who are having a tough time getting by. Fahe is able in part to provide the resources and education for energy efficient practices thanks to donations from generous people like you.
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Fahe is able to make every $1 donated do the work of $4 in community development projects. These donations go straight to helping the families in need, never to our overhead or operating expenses.