Since 1989, Oregon nonprofit Bend Area Habitat for Humanity has been bringing people together to build homes, community, and hope. Now, they’re building community with a side of renewable energy, thanks to support from the Oregon Department of Energy.
Building Energy-Smart Homes
For nearly 27 years, the Bend Area Habitat for Humanity has made the dream of homeownership a reality for low-income families. With 110 finished homes, another three under construction, and even more building opportunities on the horizon, Bend Habitat is making a big difference in its Central Oregon community.
A lot of care goes into the design and construction of Habitat homes. From radiant floor heating and air exchange systems to duct-free heating and rooftop solar panels, Habitat homes are built to last with Energy Star standards – and lower energy bills!
Since 2010, ODOE has awarded Bend Area Habitat for Humanity nearly $167,000 in incentives for installing renewable energy systems – like solar thermal and photovoltaic – in Bend’s Habitat homes.
The Bend Habitat ReStore is a used and surplus home improvement center, and its sales support Habitat’s overall mission. Bend-area families can donate to and shop in the store, finding affordable, gently-used furniture, tools, appliances, building materials, and other home treasures. Donations to the ReStore keep 3.6 million pounds of reusable materials out of the landfill each year.
Proceeds from ReStore sales go directly to support homebuilding and other Habitat operations. Their successful business model allows Bend Habitat to be 85 percent self-funded.
In December, Habitat moved in to a new 18,000 square foot ReStore on NE Thurston Avenue. The new location has been a huge success already – thanks, in part, to its eye-catching 56-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system!
The Oregon Department of Energy was proud to support the Bend ReStore’s solar panel project, with a $36,120 Renewable Energy Development grant.
The new ReStore location is already surpassing expectations. “We hoped to reach $1 million in sales in five years,” explained Director of Development Robin Cooper. “We reached $1 million after 11 months.”
With boosted sales and energy savings from the solar panels, Bend Habitat hopes to increase its 85 percent self-funding model to a full 100 percent!
“Sustainability is an important value to Habitat,” shared Robin. “Thankfully, going green also leads to saving money, and ultimately serving more families.”
Supporting Oregon Nonprofits & Businesses
“The grant programs offered by ODOE, Energy Trust, and Blue Sky made our solar panel project possible,” added Director of Retail Operations Sophie Paez. “Without this funding, our ReStore would not have been able to install the solar panel system.”
Learn more about the Bend Area Habitat for Humanity and its ReStore on their website: www.bendhabitat.org
Oregon Department of Energy staff provide energy expertise and advice for Oregon nonprofits and businesses that want to make a change. In addition to Renewable Energy Development grants, we also provide incentives for energy conservation and transportation projects, administer small-scale loans, and more.
Call us at 1 (800) 221-8035 or visit our website to learn more: www.oregon.gov/energy