Holiday Cheer, Heat Smart Style

  • December 6, 2018
  • Heat Smart

It’s impossible to avoid this time of year. Decorations in every store, carols on every radio station, lights in nearly every window. So in this season of “comfort and joy” as the song goes, we’d like to draw your attention to some additional benefits of the Heat Smart Kit, such as comfort.

If you’re a regular reader, you know Heat Smart best for the energy savings we help low income families achieve. However, the high quality wool-blend blankets in our kit are also cozy and keep people warmer than cheaper synthetics or cotton. Wool is a natural and unique material that raises body temperature faster than any other material. It insulates in cold weather and breathes in hot weather. And the weatherstripping in the kit eliminates cold drafts around windows and doors. The result: increased comfort and sense of well-being.

Here’s what some Heat Smart Kit recipients have told us:

“The blankets were soft and cozy, I like to cuddle under them.”

The weatherstripping was really helpful, I used to have drafts all around my front door.”

“The blankets were very nice, they cuddle you up and keep you warm. I never had anything like them; before, I had thin cotton blankets.”

This warmth and added sense of comfort is what the industry calls a non-energy benefit. And research has shown that while difficult to quantify, non-energy  benefits are very important to many households, sometimes more important than the energy saving benefits. And that could help increase efficiency program adoption rates and achieve key energy policy goals. Even better, by keeping people warm, Heat Smart kits could reduce a household’s reliance on low-income household energy/fuel assistance. And that helps extend benefits to more households. We’d call that a win-win.

If you’re interested in exploring the idea more and seeing how we can help you, contact us any time.

Meanwhile, Heat Smart wishes you and yours a joyous – and warm – holiday season.

Coming in from the cold, together

  • August 11, 2017
  • Heat Smart

It’s a cold, cold world out there, and we’re working with some great partners to make it a bit warmer.

Heat Smart recently made a connection with Rebuilding Together, and right now we’re working with them on a project in Chicago, set to launch this October. As you may know, Rebuilding Together is a nonprofit that brings volunteers and communities together to help low-income homeowners whose homes have fallen into disrepair.

We’re also once again working with veterans and National Grid’s Customer Care Outreach Team to benefit returning veterans. This year we’ll be dovetailing with Veteran Service Organization Stand Down events at six locations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York. Our partnership last year with Veterans Inc. helped raise funds for nearly 800 kits (see Nov 2016 blog for details).

More immediately, we’re hitting the road to make even more connections. Our President, Donna Montaquila, will be at AESP Summer Conference in Toronto from August 29-31, while Jim Lawlor, our ombudsman, will be at the Community Action Partnership’s Annual Convention in Philadelphia, also August 29-31. If you’re attending either show, be sure to stop by and see us. Or email and we’ll set up a convenient time to meet.

The more we work together, the more we can help America’s heat insecure. Remember as you set your budget for 2018, Heat Smart can help you achieve your outreach goals, cost-effectively. We have already helped over 500,000 people by partnering with utilities, CAP programs, government heat assistance programs, non-profits and tribe welfare programs to assist in executing their missions.

Do you have a project we can help you with? Call us!


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!

Nonprofit Incorporates Heat Smart in Fundraisers

  • January 18, 2017
  • Heat Smart

Here at Heat Smart, we’re all about multi-purpose. Not only do our blankets keep people warm, but they help families save energy too. Now we’ve added another purpose: fundraising.

We’re working with the North Carolina Community Action Association (NCCAA), our long-term partner, on an innovative fundraising program called Blankets of Love. Their goal is to support low-income North Carolina families suffering from the long-lasting effects of Hurricane Matthew. They are asking the public at large to buy a Heat Smart kit, which will go to a low-income family to help reduce their energy bills and stay warm this winter.

If you’re not familiar with Heat Smart kits, the included blankets that are made of a quality wool blend with a stronger, tighter weave ideal for use in emergency situations and cases of severe weather, like Hurricane Matthew.

The Blankets of Love campaign will run through February 3, 2017, check out their website to see how it works. And, it’s easy to donate while you’re there if you wish. All donors will be recognized on the NCCAA website.

If you’re a nonprofit, working with Heat Smart is a great way to raise funds to help offset heating costs for low-income families and maximize your budget. There doesn’t have to be a hurricane: when the cold swoops in and the snow flies, families who are heat insecure must choose between staying warm or spending scarce resources on energy. We help families lower the heat bill and stay warm, while helping heat assistance programs reach more people.

Energy burden higher for those who can least afford it. 

1 in 4 households held back by a high energy burden.

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