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For Second Year in a Row U.S Department of Energy Names United Way of Long Island Grand Winner in Housing Innovation

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For the second year in a row, United Way of Long Island has been recognized as one of the nation’s top builders, being named Grand Winner in the Affordable Home category from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of its Housing Innovation Awards. The Awards, which took place in Dallas, Texas last week recognized forward-thinking builders across the country who lead the evolution in the housing industry toward zero energy ready homes (ZERH). This means they are high performance, energy efficient homes with systems that offset all, or most, of its annual energy consumption.

“Building Zero Energy Ready Homes is the smart, and sustainable, way to help those who are struggling with home ownership on Long Island,” said Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island. “It is an honor to be recognized as a leader in housing innovation for the second time by the Department of Energy. These homes not only benefit those living in them, but are changing the trends in building in our region – proving that efficient is attainable.”

The 1,890 sq. ft. home was built according to the performance criteria of the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program. The home has a comprehensive package of measures to minimize dangerous pollutants, provide continuous fresh air and effectively filter the air you breathe. The walls have superior insulation, windows, air sealing and space conditioning systems included that surround the occupants with even temperatures, low humidity, and quiet in every room. This project begins with solid building science specified by Energy Star for Homes, and then adds advanced technologies and practices from DOE’s world class research facilities across the country. The advanced levels of energy savings, comfort, health, durability, quality, and future performance provide value that will stand the test of time. The solar electric panels on the roof generate as much power as the home consumes, netting home owners a zero balance on their electric bills. This is United Way’s third home built to the DOE ZERH program specifications, with seven more in the planning stages. 

“How can a home be affordable if the occupants are vulnerable to rapidly increasing energy costs, health costs, and maintenance costs? The answer is it really can’t. That’s why the Department of Energy is so proud to recognize affordable Zero Energy Ready Home builders like the United Way of Long Island. They help low-income families manage all of these cost risks while also being vested in higher-value Zero Energy Ready Homes that meet and exceed future codes,” said Sam Rashkin, Chief Architect at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office.

Details of this award winning home, including floor plans, photos and energy ratings can be viewed on the DOE Tour of Zero.

Photo caption: Theresa Regnante and Rick Wertheim are joined by Patchogue Village Mayor Paul V. Pontieri Jr., Alison Karppi, Executive Director of the Town of Islip Community Development Agency, Jim Beamesderfer, Vice President of Veterans Affairs at Prudential Financial, Charles J. Sevola Jr., Vice President of Information Systems and Veterans Initiatives at Prudential Financial, Robert DeMarinis, United Way Board Member and Vice President of Gas Operations at National Grid, Russell Albanese, Chairman of Albanese Foundation, Jean-Pierre Lardoux, Principal Architect at Fusion Architecture, David G. Schieren, CEO of EmPower Solar and students from YouthBuild and VetsBuild