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!
Introducing: Profiles in Behavior Change
- April 19, 2017
- Heat Smart
We’re starting an occasional new blog series we call “Profiles in Behavior Change.” They’re stories of real people who have proven the Heat Smart approach to energy efficiency works and who shared their stories with us. (For new readers, our approach is a simple one: use our warm woolen blankets and weatherstripping to stay warm and turn the heat down 7-8 degrees to save about 10% on your heating bill, as estimated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.)
Today we’d like you to meet Valerie, a grandmother of six living on a fixed income in a two-bedroom apartment in Wilmington, North Carolina with electric heat. She started using the Heat Smart program last fall and kept with it all winter.
- What she did: Valerie made up the beds using our quality wool blend blankets and installed our weatherstripping around all the windows and doors to keep the heat in the apartment. She began turning the heat down at night, but soon found that the blankets were so warm she could turn the heat off completely at night.
- How much she saved: Valerie reports saving about $20 per month on her utility bill, proving the approach worked. And, she says she knows more about energy saving now than she did before.
- What the savings meant to her: “With the savings, now when my grandchildren need things, I can help them out with clothes or sneakers. I have six grandchildren and they’re all growing!”
- What she liked: “The best part was saving money on my bill. In addition, the blankets were nice and very warm, I will definitely use them again next winter. I used to have really cold air coming in around my windows but your weatherstripping cut down the drafts and kept the heat from escaping, it really made a difference. I love that.”
- Would she recommend Heat Smart?: “Yes, I’d recommend it to anybody to try the approach, and get the weatherstripping and blankets, because it really works. It’s an easy way to stay warm and save money.”
The result: Now that her energy-use behavior change has proven to save her money and electricity, Valerie is committed to using the Heat Smart approach for many winters to come. Not only did it help her stretch her budget, it helped reduce grid demand for the utility company. Imagine what the reduction in demand would be if everyone took our approach!
Community Action Leads the Way in Innovation
Do you know the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF)? They seek to ensure the federal government honors its commitment to fighting poverty, especially through the work of Community Action Agencies. Over the years they have helped launch many great programs: Weatherization, Head Start, Legal Aid, Community Health Centers. And they continue to cultivate the anti-poverty innovations that will guide us in the future.
That’s one of the reasons we’ll be at the NCAF 2017 Legislative Conference March 14-17. We’re hoping to bring an end to heat poverty through our innovative but simple cost-efficient solution. We have already helped over 600,000 families stay warm and save energy, and helped Community Action Agencies across the country maximize their LIHEAP and heat assistance budgets.
With the current threat to funding for domestic assistance programs, it’s more important than ever that we work together to help those in need.
If you’re going to NCAF Conference, be sure to drop by our booth and say hello, or email ahead and we’ll be sure to make a connection. If you can’t make it to D.C. and you’d like more info, please email.