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

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Pilot Program Surveys Return Positive Results

  • May 27, 2015
  • Heat Smart

For immediate release

For more information contact: Donna Montaquila, Executive Director, Heat Smart

401.481.8107, donna@northwestwoolen.com

 

Pilot Program Surveys Return Positive Results

WOONSOCKET, RI – May 13, 2015 – Heat Smart, a national energy efficiency program, today announced preliminary results from their winter pilot program. Conducted from December 15 through March 30, Heat Smart distributed their kits to low-income families with electric heat in four North Carolina neighborhoods, asking them to turn the heat down at night and use the Heat Smart kits to stay warm. Participants filled out surveys both pre- and post-pilot to measure attitudes and behavior. As of 5/13/15, a majority of the surveys have been returned, and they reveal:

  • 95% reported turning their heat down at night, an increase of 24%.
  • Respondents reported an average turndown of 7.9 degrees, compared to 4.7 degrees before the pilot.
  • 41% reported an increased knowledge of energy saving tactics.
  • 96% indicated they would continue to use the kit and keep the heat down at night.

“These results demonstrate that empowering people with the right tools works,” said Donna Montaquila, Executive Director. “Comparing behaviors before and after the pilot, more people turned their heat down by more degrees. We know that turning the heat down 7 to 8 degrees can save 10% on a family’s energy bill, and as reported by the participants, our approach achieved the behavior change needed to set heat assistance strategies going forward.”

Innovative in approach, the Heat Smart kit includes a warm woolen blanket, weatherstripping, and energy saving tips.

“It’s a simple idea with the potential for huge impact,” Montaquila explained. “Each kit costs just $12, quite a return on investment when you consider one kit could help a family save nearly $200 on their heating bill – every year.”

The pilot program was conducted in collaboration with Duke Energy, the North Carolina Community Action Association, and I-Care, a community action agency in Statesville, NC. A control group was overseen by Advanced Energy to ensure statistical accuracy. Duke and Advanced Energy are currently compiling statistics on kilowatts and dollars saved. Heat Smart will release those results as soon as they are available.

“I am looking forward to the statistics but based on the participant feedback, I feel strongly that the program is moving in the right direction. It’s already helped thousands of families since we launched in 2005. I’m hoping this new data will help us expand,” 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. Their energy efficiency program has already made a big difference to over 500,000 households in 25 states. 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. More information can be found at: www.heatsmart.net.