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


34 Families to Receive Heat Assistance Through Innovative Pilot

  • December 15, 2014
  • Heat Smart

For immediate release

For more information contact: Donna Montaquila, Director, Heat Smart 401.481.8107,

34 Families to Receive Heat Assistance Through Innovative Pilot

WOONSOCKET, RI – December 15, 2014 – Heat Smart, a national energy efficiency program headquartered in Rhode Island, kicked off an innovative pilot program in North Carolina today. Months in development, the pilot program will help North Carolina families stay warm and reduce their heat bills at the same time. 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 wool blankets at a low cost for disaster relief, humanitarian efforts, military supply and more.

Working with Duke Energy, the North Carolina Community Action Association, and I-Care, Heat Smart asked 77 low income families who were Duke Energy customers to participate in the pilot. Thirty-four families or 44 percent of the target audience, in the Statesville, Mooresville, Mocksville and Salisbury areas accepted. They each received a free Heat Smart kit, which includes a warm woolen blanket for each occupied bed, weatherstripping for drafty windows and doors, and energy savings tips.

“We know that wool raises body temperature the fastest of any material,” said Donna Montaquila, Heat Smart Director. “The idea behind the kit is to help families stay warm while turning down the thermostat to save on energy. Each family pledged to turn the heat down just seven to eight degrees overnight, which can take ten percent off a heating bill, saving an average $400 per year in households nationwide. In addition, our weather-stripping reduces drafts, and our educational materials help families learn how to save energy.”

Three area Boy Scout troops helped deliver the Heat Smart kits last week, and the pilot program period runs from today through February 28, 2015.

The pilot aims to measure customer attitudes and awareness of energy savings initiatives both before and after participation in the program through behavioral surveys that Heat Smart is conducting both pre- and post-pilot. Duke Energy will measure the resulting savings in both energy use and real dollar savings through analysis and comparison of energy bills, so Heat Smart will have hard data and a strong platform on which to move forward. A control group overseen by Advanced Energy will help ensure statistical accuracy.

“As families struggle to stay warm and heat assistance dollars shrink, we feel this very cost-effective program will prove worthwhile. In the future, we are looking to partner with other utility and community organizations to expand our reach,” Montaquila said.

Once the pilot is complete and families have completed their surveys, they will also receive a $25 gift certificate for their participation.


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.


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