HEAT SMART BLOG
Did you know … LIHEAP can be used for more than Energy?
Not sure what to do with extra LIHEAP funding quickly? Good news: agencies receiving LIHEAP monies can use a portion of the funding for various energy-related projects that encourage and enable households to reduce their home energy needs, and thus the need for energy assistance.
For example, some states have used the funding to help LIHEAP households through conservation efforts such as weatherization and energy behavior modifications. Others have used it for energy reduction education through brochures and classes; as well as purchases of items that reduce energy demand such as blankets and fans. The goal for all: achieve a greater degree of energy self-sufficiency.
Because the Heat Smart Kit empowers families to take charge of their heating bill, it encompasses all those aspects and makes it a great LIHEAP project. It reduces energy dependence (and the need for future LIHEAP assistance) through a three-prong strategy:
- Warmth – quality, low-cost woolen blankets that last for decades so they can turn the heat down 7-8 degrees and save about 10% on their heating bill
- Conservation – weatherstripping to eliminate heat/cooling loss, now and in the future.
- Education – further energy tips for long-term energy savings.
Whether it’s with leftover 2017 funds, or with new 2018 funding to be released soon, Heat Smart qualifies as a LIHEAP energy-reducing project that helps our most vulnerable populations move out of energy poverty. And, we can assist you every step of the way with our flexible approach and helpful logistics.
Empowering energy behavior change with Heat Smart is a proven, cost-effective way to maximize your budget and help your constituents. And at the end of the day, that’s a warm fuzzy feeling for everyone. Contact us for more details.
How can we help you?
As much as email, Skype and text has done to facilitate communication, we still enjoy meeting people face to face. Getting to know the people we work with, share goals with, and augment the efforts of helps us understand your needs and do a better job.
You guessed it – we’re on the road again, this time to Florida.
APPA’s (American Public Power Association) Expo and National Conference from June 18th to 21st in Orlando. As the utility professionals at APPA look for ways to increase energy efficiency, study power infrastructure and manage the power supply, Heat Smart helps households reduce their dependence on the energy grid.
NEUAC’s (National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition) Annual Conference, “Sunny Solutions for Self-Sufficiency” from June 26th to 28th in Fort Lauderdale. While NEUAC is fighting to preserve an essential safety net for Americans in energy poverty, Heat Smart provides a safety blanket of warmth while reducing household energy bills. Stop by our booth to see how.
Since 2005, we’ve helped over 500,000 people by partnering with utilities, CAA programs, government heat assistance programs, non-profits and tribe welfare programs to help execute their missions. By working together, we can achieve greater success.
We’d love to know your biggest concerns and your greatest needs. We’ll show you how our program can dovetail with your efforts to help reach the most people in need and meet your organization’s goals. Come chat with us! If you’re going to either conference, email us and we’ll be sure to connect. If you’re not going but would still like to chat, please email and we’ll set up some time to talk by phone. It’s the next best thing!
Meet Annie, a Profile in Behavior Change
Our Profiles in Behavior Change are stories from real people who have proven the Heat Smart approach to energy efficiency works and who shared their thoughts with us. Today we’d like you to meet Annie, a single woman who lives on a fixed income in an apartment in Wilmington, North Carolina with electric heat. She started using the program in the winter of 2015-2016, and kept with it from October through March, consistently filling out our response surveys.
What she did: Annie loved our quality wool blend blankets and kept them on the bed all winter. She began turning the heat down by approximately 7 or 8 degrees at night.
How much she saved: Annie reports saving about $10 per month on her utility bill, proving the approach worked. The first month’s savings surprised her and encouraged her to continue turning the heat down to continue saving. And, she says she feels more knowledgeable about energy saving now than she did before.
What the savings meant to her: “With the lower electricity bill, I could pay the whole thing instead of just a partial every month. That felt really good, I don’t like having a big outstanding bill.”
What she liked: “I appreciated the quality of the blankets, they really kept me warm and comfortable. I kept using them again this winter, and continued saving.”
Would she recommend Heat Smart?: “Yes, I’d give Heat Smart a 9 out of 10, it was such an easy idea. I was very pleased to be a part of the program.”
The result: Now that her energy-use behavior change has proven to save her money and electricity, Annie is a dedicated Heat Smart fan. Not only did it help her stretch her budget and eliminate overdue bills, it helped reduce grid demand for the utility company and helped heat assistance programs reach more people. Imagine what the results could be if everyone took our approach!
We’re stronger when we work together
Last January, we partnered with the North Carolina Community Action Association (NCCAA), on an innovative fundraising program. Called Blankets of Love, it benefited families suffering from Hurricane Matthew. Last fall, we partnered with Veterans, Inc. and National Grid’s Customer Care Outreach Team to benefit returning veterans (see our Nov 12 Blog: Heat Smart Joins National Grid in Saluting Our Vets).
Seeing a trend here? We did too. Our partners were coming to us to help them implement fundraising programs. And we were happy to jump in and help, case by case. But couldn’t we do more? What if we shared our expertise with everyone? The world might be a warmer place, right?
This spring we put our heads together and formalized a program to help our partners, whether non-profits, utilities, employers, tribes or government programs, reach more families in need. We understand the budget and staffing challenges you face and we can help. First, is with our innovative kit. At just $12 per kit (over $40 retail value), it’s a cost-effective tool that could help a family save nearly $200 every year.
Second is with helping you raise the funds to purchase the kits. We can help you partner with other like-minded organizations (such as major employers or civic organizations) to sponsor your program and purchase the kits to meet their own community goals and gain positive PR. We can also help you run a go-fund-me type of donation program to raise the funds. We’re creative in our approaches and can tailor a fundraiser to fit your program requirements.
We offer two levels of engagement – you choose the amount of help that meets your staffing need. Level 1 is through no-cost Plug and Play Templates. These are proven, field-tested materials that have helped other organizations succeed, ready for you to customize with your organization’s name, goals, and specifics.
Level 2 is a Turnkey Approach where we manage the program for you (from soliciting sponsorship partners to coordinating kit distribution logistics to administering promotion), funded by raising money above the cost of the kits. We can even help with generating additional fundraising revenue.
It’s a smart, cost-effective way to help more low income families and meet your organizational goals. Curious to learn more? Email us and ask for our complete How To guide!