Kentucky Habitat For Humanity Dedicates First "Passive House"

Jul 10, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky Habitat for Humanity has as its mission building homes for residents with low incomes, but the new owners of the organization’s latest construction will see added benefits when their utility bills arrive.

Habitat’s latest project is what’s called a “passive house.” It’s not quite zero energy, but it requires 70 percent less energy when compared to a conventional home. That’s achieved through super-insulation, triple pane windows, a special heat exchanger, and other modifications. Ginger Watkins, Sustainability Specialist for Kentucky Habitat for Humanity, says the design will have a dramatic impact on the residents’ utility bills.

"Well, it does depend on how the homeowner operates the home, but the heating and cooling energy use we expect to be less than $10 a month and then the total electric bill less than $45 a month including the service fee," Watkins says.

J.T. and Marlena Hoover are set to move in to the house, which must meet certain federal criteria before being officially certified as passive.