img

Heat Smart has partnerships with public and private organizations from Maine to California.

img

HEAT SMART BLOG

Winter Cold, Storms & Outages: We’re Keeping Families Warm

  • November 20, 2014
  • Heat Smart

Did you see the snowed-in pictures from Buffalo just before Thanksgiving? Brrr! That was winter sending an early warning, so we’re posting an early winter warmth reminder.

Energy Assistance Program Offers Low-cost Solution to the Cold

  • November 20, 2014
  • Heat Smart

For immediate release:

For more information contact: Donna Montaquila, Director, Heat Smart 401.481.8107, dmontaquila@hbrickle.com

Energy Assistance Program Offers Low-cost Solution to the Cold

WOONSOCKET, RI – November 20, 2014 – Heat Smart, the energy assistance program that provides warm woolen blankets, weatherstripping and energy tips to low-income households, is offering their Heat Smart kits to help low-income families stay warm.

Effective immediately, community and government agencies as well as utilities can order Heat Smart kits to use in their programs and shelters or distribute to their constituents. Originally designed to help low-income families save on their heating bills, the ultra warm quality wool blankets in the Heat Smart kit are also a great solution for families who cannot afford the costs of heating their home this winter.

“Wool raises the body temperature the fastest of any material, and our quality wool blankets could mean all the difference to a family struggling with winter heat bills,” said Donna Montaquila, Director. “Ordering a supply now is the key to getting blankets distributed quickly and cost-efficiently as the temperature drops and the cost of heat rises. Utility companies can distribute them during storm outages to provide that extra level of care when their customers are relying on them the most.”

Interested organizations can order a supply by contacting Montaquila at donna@northwestwoolen.com.

If the blankets in the Heat Smart kit are not exactly what assistance directors are looking for, Heat Smart’s parent company, Northwest Woolen Mills, offers other options. Their products are used in disaster relief efforts around the world.

“Their wool experts make a 70% wool blend utility blanket ideal for emergencies in the coldest climates. Northwest can arrange expedited delivery of large quantities direct from the mill,” Montaquila said.

More information can be found at northwestwoolen.com.

About Heat Smart

Headquartered in Woonsocket, RI, Heat Smart’s mission is to distribute quality, low-cost blankets, weatherstripping and educational materials to low income households in an effort to help them save money and reduce overall energy use. They are committed to fostering and developing additional successful partnerships with local Community Action Programs and Energy/Utility companies across the country as a cost-effective and efficient channel to distribute Heat Smart kits.

 

###

Innovative Heat Assistance Pilot Program To Launch in North Carolina

  • October 22, 2014
  • Heat Smart

WOONSOCKET, RI – October 22, 2014 – Heat Smart hopes to help North Carolina families stay warm and reduce their heat bills at the same time in an innovative pilot program set to run this winter. Heat Smart is an initiative of Woonsocket’s Northwest Woolen Mills, America’s largest industrial woolen blanket manufacturer, known for their ability to make quality woolen blankets at a low cost.

“We know that wool raises body temperature the fastest of any material, and our blankets have been used to help disaster victims around the world,” said Donna Montaquila, Heat Smart
Director. “We decided to take our wool expertise and help families who are struggling to stay warm as the cost of heat skyrockets and assistance programs shrink. So we developed a Heat Assistance Kit that we distribute through community agencies and utilities.”

The kit includes a quality wool blend blanket, weatherstripping, and energy savings tips. The three-pronged approach of warmth, conservation, and education has shown success in its initial rollout and Heat Smart is now expanding the program. Families that participate in the program will receive a blanket for each occupied bed in the household.

“Families without adequate bedding typically turn up the heat to stay warm. Our blankets, made of a quality wool blend with a stronger, tighter weave, keep families warm while enabling them to turn their thermostats down to reduce energy use. Turning the heat down just seven to eight degrees can take ten percent off a heating bill, saving an average $400 per year in households nationwide. In addition, our weatherstripping reduces drafts, and our educational materials help families learn how to save energy,” Montaquila explained.

The pilot program was developed in collaboration with Duke Energy, the North Carolina Community Action Association, and I-Care, a community action agency in Statesville, NC. They have selected North Carolina low-income families with electric heat to receive the Heat Smart kits, and Duke Energy is providing a $25 gift certificate to all families completing the Pilot Program. North Carolina Boy Scout Troops will be delivering the kits door to door as part of their community service goals. The pilot aims to measure customer attitudes and awareness of energy savings initiatives both before and after participation in the program. The resulting savings in both energy use and real dollar savings will be measured through analysis and comparison of energy bills, so the agency will have hard data and a strong platform on which to move forward.

“It’s already a proven, proactive approach that helps families stay warm cost-effectively while using less energy, and it helps utilities and community action programs meet their outreach goals. In addition, this pilot will help us gather real success stories,” Montaquila said.

 

About Heat Smart

Headquartered in Woonsocket, RI, Heat Smart’s mission is to distribute quality, low-cost blankets, weatherstripping and educational materials to low income households in an effort to help them save money and reduce overall energy use. They are committed to fostering and developing additional successful partnerships with local Community Action Programs and Energy/Utility companies across the country as a cost-effective and efficient channel to distribute Heat Smart kits.

 

###

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Donna Montaquila,
Director, Heat Smart

Mobile: 401.481.8107
Toll Free: 800-848-9665 x250

donna@northwestwoolen.com

www.heatsmart.net

 

Heat Smart’s Montaquila Named Woman of Achievement

  • October 15, 2014
  • Heat Smart

For immediate release

For more information, please contact:  Donna Montaquila, 401.481.8107

Heat Smart’s Montaquila Named Woman of Achievement

PROVIDENCE, RI – October 15, 2014 – Donna Montaquila, Director of Heat Smart, was honored earlier this month with the YWCA’s Women of Achievement Award at a luncheon held at Kirkbrae Country Club. The award recognizes the best in the accomplishments of women across industry, culture and public service. This is the tenth annual award ceremony hosted by the YWCA.

This year’s 13 recipients were a diverse group that include a chief judge, a multi-instrumentalist, health promoters, educators, community supporters, business advocates, social service leaders and an organization that enhances the success of women in construction.

“I’m very honored to be named among this group of women,” Montaquila said. “But more importantly, I’m excited about the visibility this award brings to Heat Smart and our goal of helping keep low-income families warm and reduce their energy costs. At a time when assistance dollars are shrinking, private partnership initiatives like this are more important than ever.”

Montaquila founded Heat Smart in 2005, an initiative of Woonsocket’s Northwest Woolen Mills, America’s largest industrial woolen blanket manufacturer, known for their ability to make a high quality woolen blankets at a low cost. The idea behind it is simple – lowering the thermostat by 7-8 degrees overnight can save a family an average of $400 a year. But without adequate bedding, many leave the thermostat up to stay warm.

“We know that wool raises body temperature the fastest of any material, and our blankets have been used to help disaster victims around the world, including Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina,” explained Montaquila. “We decided to take our wool expertise and help families who are struggling to stay warm and developed a Heat Assistance Kit. We partner with community agencies and utilities to distribute them to needy families.”

The kit includes a quality wool blend blanket, weatherstripping, and energy savings tips. The three-pronged approach of warmth, conservation, and education has shown success in its initial rollout and Heat Smart is now expanding the program. Northwest Woolen’s logistical skills earned through responding to crisis situations makes it ideally suited to work with other partners to quickly develop energy efficiency programs involving the distribution of woolen blankets, and the low costs that the company provides for its government contracts are also available to partners in the Heat Smart.

“To know that we’re helping families, even on a small scale, is a very rewarding feeling,” Montaquila said. You can hear more of her and Heat Smart’s stories on the YWCA’s She Shines radio program, to be aired October 10.

Prior to launching Heat Smart, Montaquila was advertising director for two newspapers and has been employed with two Fortune 500 companies. She has served on numerous committees and presently is a member of Women Ending Hunger at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Johnson & Wales University. Montaquila is a member of the Association of Energy Service Professionals.

 

###