Appalachian Nonprofit to Expand Access of Low Cost Energy Audits

HDA, Fahe, and NeighborWorks of Western Vermont are increasing access to money-saving, energy efficient options for homeowners

For Immediate Release (Hazard, KY) – Housing Development Alliance, Inc. (HDA) of Hazard, KY is launching a new initiative designed to bring greater access to energy efficiency for Appalachian homeowners.  Appalachia HEAT Squad is an expansion of the original HEAT Squad program developed by NeighborWorks of Western Vermont.  HEAT Squad ( offers low cost energy audits, objective advice on ways to improve efficiency, access to qualified contractors, and financing options to homeowners of all incomes. The new service is made possible through the support of Fahe, a nonprofit network organization dedicated to eliminating persistent poverty in Appalachia and NeighborWorks America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, congressionally sponsored corporation. The two organizations are committed to ensuring that the HDA team receives thorough training on field procedure, software, and data collection methods so the program can hit the ground running.

As coal mining and coal-fired plants continue to be phased out in the greater Appalachian region, electrical costs will necessarily skyrocket.  It will be crucial for landlords and homeowners to maximize the energy efficiency of their homes. The first step is a comprehensive home energy audit.  The HEAT Squad audit is a comprehensive evaluation of a home’s energy usage with a detailed report of findings and recommended improvements delivered on site during the inspection.  Some income eligible residents will qualify for a free home energy audit, but audits will start at $100 for residents of Perry County in the Housing Development Alliance Inc.’s service territory.  Participants in the program will also have access to attractive energy loan options to help finance recommended energy-saving improvements.

The Kentucky team is very excited by the success NeighborWorks of Western Vermont has seen in expanding the efficiency market within its service territory.  Their contractors earned a combined $7 million in the 4 years following the launch of the program compared with just $182,000 in 2010.  We expect to spur similar job growth in Kentucky.  John Bush, an experienced member of the Housing Development Alliance, Inc. team with several years promoting and constructing cost-effective, efficient housing, will head up the program.

About Housing Development Alliance, Inc.

The mission of the Housing Development Alliance is to strengthen our communities through creating high quality, long lasting, affordable homes.

About Fahe

Fahe is on a mission to eliminate persistent poverty in Appalachia. Our unique collaborative model connects a Network of local, reginal, and national leaders, all working together to uplift our nation’s rural places.

Through our Network of 50+ locally-rooted nonprofits, we have guided over 300,000 families to better lives, made over $469 million in direct investments to the region, and achieved a total cumulative financial impact of over $1.15 billion.

About NeighborWorks of Western Vermont

NeighborWorks of Western Vermont is committed to sustainable homeownership for Vermonters. As an organization we work to help Vermonters become educated about finances and homeownership, find homes to buy, get the loans they need to buy homes, and renovate and make their existing homes livable and cost efficient. We believe that homeownership supports people and families in living healthy and stable lives.