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U.S Department of Energy Names United Way of Long Island Grand Winner in Housing Innovation

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Recognizes Nation’s Top Zero Energy Ready Home in Patchogue

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.

Today, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the site of the home in Patchogue in recognition of this achievement. United Way’s Housing Development team was commissioned by United Veterans Beacon House to build the home where veterans and people with special needs will reside. Students from United Way’s VetsBuild and YouthBuild programs were in attendance, many of whom played a role in helping to build the home, as well as prepare it for occupancy.

“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.”

Designed by Fusion Architecture - known for their expertise in building homes that are healthy, energy efficient, and above standard code - 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.

“Zero Energy Ready Homes represent the perfect solution for the housing needs of Long Island,” added Rick Wertheim, senior vice president of housing and green initiatives at United Way of Long Island. “It costs less for the nonprofit agencies we work with to own one of these homes than a low-cost-per-square-foot home over time. Our goal is to provide sustainable energy savings - lowering monthly expenses and reducing ongoing costly maintenance. This is the future of housing available today.”

“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.

Program funders for YouthBuild and VetsBuild include Albanese Organization, Inc., Allstate. AT&T, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Capital One, Citi Community Development, Grainger Foundation, Island Outreach Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Long Island Board of Realtors (LIBOR), MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc., National Grid, New York State Department of Labor, New York State Department of State, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Pritchard Charitable Trust, Prudential Insurance Company of America, Tri State Capital Bank, The Countess Moira Charitable Foundation, U. S. Department of Labor, and Veronica B. Renken.

To learn more about United Way of Long Island and its housing initiatives, visit www.unitedwayli.org. Details of this award winning home, including floor plans, photos and energy ratings can be viewed on the DOE Tour of Zero.

About United Way of Long Island
United Way of Long Island advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, financial stability and health.  We recruit people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.  LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change.  United Way of Long Island is part of a worldwide network spanning across 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. For more information about United Way of Long Island, please visit www.UnitedWayLI.org, Facebook or Twitter

About The Housing Innovation Awards
Since 2013, The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Housing Innovation Awards has recognized the very best in innovation on the path to zero energy ready homes.  The Housing Innovation Awards recognize forward-thinking builders for delivering American homebuyers with the home of the future, today. Explore these award winning homes on the Tour of Zero.

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