Northfield EnergySmart BuildingWorks awarded $40,000 grant

Posted by Bruce Anderson, July 19th , 2006

RENew Northfield and the Northfield Area Foundation are teaming up in a new initiative to build community support for incorporating energy efficiency, solar, and ground source heating and cooling technology in new and retrofit construction in the area.

Maine solar house


Northfield EnergySmart BuildingWorks has been awarded a $40,000 grant by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Office of Environmental Assistance. The grant is being matched by $10,000 from the Northfield Area Foundation, and will be used for an educational campaign, creation of a fund that will be used to make energy improvements more affordable for low and moderate-income residents, and assistance in developing highly energy-efficient affordable housing in the community.

Boston energy-efficient affordable housing

Highly energy-efficient buildings will greatly reduce the economic impact of owner/occupant energy consumption, particularly for moderate and low income occupants, and will also greatly reduce the environmental impact of area buildings by dramatically lowering emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. “Those who are least able to afford high utility bills will most benefit from this project,” said Pat Vincent, Northfield Area Foundation chair. “By ensuring that new affordable housing built in the Northfield area is highly energy-efficient, we can increase the chance that people will be able to pay their mortgage and utility bills and stay in these homes long-term, and not be driven out by rising energy costs.”

Rising natural gas and electricity costs are an increasing burden for low and moderate income households. Natural gas prices rose 65% between 2000 and 2005, for example. The goal for affordable housing units built with assistance from this project will be to ensure that combined mortgage or rent and utility payments are no higher in the first year than they would be in a conventional unit, and significantly lower over the lifetime of the housing unit and/or mortgage. The funding supports work through June 30, 2008.

Filed under: News, Northfield EnergySmart BuildingWorks

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