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Energy firm teams up with Habitat in Northumberland

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

Habitat for Humanity Northumberland board chair Jason Schmidt and Community Power Northumberland director Ross Pigeau talk about their energy conservation partnership underway thrugh the building of four new affordable energy-efficient homes at Hope and Harcourt streets in Port Hope..VALERIE MACDONALD Northumberland Toda

Habitat for Humanity Northumberland board chair Jason Schmidt and Community Power Northumberland director Ross Pigeau talk about their energy conservation partnership underway thrugh the building of four new affordable energy-efficient homes at Hope and Harcourt streets in Port Hope..VALERIE MACDONALD Northumberland Toda

NORTHUMBERLAND -- Community Power Northumberland and Habitat for Humanity for Northumberland have partnered to support environmental sustainability and energy conservation in the on-going construction of four energy-friendly, affordable homes at Hope and Harcourt streets in Port Hope.

A donation of $5,000 from the non-profit alternate-energy producing co-op will go into, among other things, building products for these homes. They range from environmentally certified lumber to partition walls and insulation that saves energy by keeping the inside warmer in winter and cooler in summer, plus energy efficient furnaces, Habitat construction manager Deb Wilson listed.

In an interview during a Thursday media event, she identified some of the energy-saving elements.

Chair of the local Habitat board Jason Schmidt thanked Community Power Northumberland for its contribution to the housing projects that will help lower-income families be able to own their own homes.

The initial focus of CPN has been on creating alternative energy power like the solar project getting underway this fall at the Keeler Centre in Colborne and projects like the Baltimore Recreation Centre's solar roof initiative that is already adding green power to the grid.

The organization's focus is now also being directed to energy conservation, spokesman Ross Pigeau told volunteers like himself who were on site helping to build the new Habitat homes.

It was fitting that Pigeau and Schmidt talked about the new partnership during Environmental Sustainability Week and the continuing construction of affordable homes in the county.

"Our goal at Habitat for Humanity is to break the cycle of poverty through promoting homeownership. We achieve this mission through our Homeownership Program which helps individuals and families in financially vulnerable situations build and buy quality affordable homes," states Habitat's web site.

"We aim to break barriers to homeownership by enabling families to purchase their own home. Habitat for Humanity homes are sold with: no down-payment; interest-free mortgages; mortgage payments set at 25% of gross income; and homeowner training and support services."

vmacdonald@postmedia.com

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