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:
Director, Heat Smart
Toll Free: 800-848-9665 x250