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Habitat for Humanity Toronto completes Canada’s first Habitat ‘green’ home project

Tuesday, August 21st 2007 1:00:38pm

Media Release - For Immediate Release – Photos available

Thousands of volunteers help build ten ENERGY STAR® qualified homes for families in need

(Scarborough, ON, August 19, 2007)  Today, over 200 Habitat for Humanity Toronto volunteers, donors, and partner families celebrated the completion of phase one of the first-ever ENERGY STAR development in Canada constructed by Habitat for Humanity.  The celebration culminated with 10 families receiving the keys to their new, environmentally friendly Habitat homes.

“This represents a very special day, not only for energy efficient home building, but for the families who have been given an opportunity to establish a life and plan for their children’s futures in a responsible and cost saving manner,” said Corey McBurney, Managing Director of EnerQuality Corporation, which oversees the ENERGY STAR for New Homes initiative in Ontario.

Annette Verschuren, President of The Home Depot Canada & Asia echoed the sentiments. “As Habitat Toronto’s largest supporter and sustainable partner, this project is one of our proudest moments.  It’s about giving back to our communities and to the environment we all share.”

Low income families may spend up to 17% of their total income on energy to operate their homes.  ENERGY STAR for New Homes is a label given to homes that meet balanced, whole-house energy-efficiency standards, guaranteeing their owners significant energy savings. New homes that receive the ENERGY STAR label are approximately 30% more energy-efficient than those built to the minimum Ontario Building Code standards. The money that the partner families will save on energy will help them with mortgage payments, food and clothing costs, and other essentials.

“The Habitat homes at 4200 Kingston Road showcase our commitment to energy-efficiency and environmentalism. Our ‘green’ build will directly translate into savings in operating costs for Habitat families, and create savings for Habitat that can be allocated to the next set of homes slated for construction,” said Habitat for Humanity Toronto CEO Neil Hetherington.  

Land donor Ed Clark added, “I admire that Habitat for Humanity Toronto is a lean and sustainable organization. The dollars raised are not relegated to overhead--but to put roofs over people’s heads.”  The land donation represents the largest of its kind by a family in Canadian Habitat history.

The Home Depot Canada, Habitat Toronto’s Partner in Sustainability, and the affiliate’s largest corporate donor, is mobilizing employees to volunteer every day of the Blitz. Community Builders on the project include Direct Energy and Enbridge, whose employees are also participating in this “finishing touches” build. Home Donors include BILD, CSA Group, GWL Realty Advisors Inc., Manulife Financial, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., Ontario Power Authority, Schneider Electric, and TD Bank Financial Group. All home donors have contributed both financially and through employee volunteer engagement.

EnerQuality Corporation, along with Air Solutions, are proud to support Habitat for Humanity Toronto as leaders in building Energy Efficient Sustainable Housing.

ENERGY STAR® for New Homes is a label given to homes that meet balanced, whole-house energy-efficiency standards, providing their owners with significant energy savings. New homes that receive the ENERGY STAR label are approximately 30 percent more energy-efficient than those built to the minimum Ontario building code standards. The ENERGY STAR mark, used with permission, is administered and promoted in Canada by Natural Resources Canada.

Habitat for Humanity Toronto is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian housing organization. Habitat welcomes all people without discrimination to join us to build simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with low-income families.  One hundred percent of all administrative and fundraising costs are paid for by the operation of three ReStores, which sell donated, quality new and gently-used renovation materials. Habitat for Humanity has built more than 225,000 homes with families in need in over 100 countries. Every 21 minutes, Habitat for Humanity builds a new home.


Habitat for Humanity contacts:

Neil Hetherington, CEO
(416) 755-7353 x 223 or cell (416) 436-4190

Kim Smiley, VP Marketing & Development
(416) 755-7353 x 235 or cell (416) 436-4191

ENERGY STAR for New Homes contact:

Michelle Cote, Account Manager, EnerQuality Corporation
(416) 305 3671

*The ENERGY STAR for New Homes initiative is managed in Ontario by EnerQuality Corporation, with the support of government and private sector partners, including Natural Resources Canada, the Ontario Power Authority, Enbridge Gas Distribution, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, DuPont Tyvek, Icynene, Owens Corning,OZZ Corporation and Union Gas.