Habitat for Humanity is implementing items such as programmable thermostats and double-pane windows in their homes, and owners are reaping the benefits.
More than a dozen Habitat for Humanity homes in Charlotte, North Carolina are being built with the color green in mind -- as in extra insulation and double pane windows.
"We're also putting in more efficient heating and cooling systems so that the cost is lower for the life of the home", said Ryan Dennison of Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte.
Habitat has been going green for months and is now getting an assist from the Home Depot, which has committed $30 million to make 5,000 Habitat Homes across the country greener, with items such as programmable thermostats.
"Lets say hypothetically in the winter, you can have it set down to 60-65 degrees and then an hour before you come home from work, bump it back up", says Doug Payne of the Home Depot.
As well as energy efficient shower heads.
"It's not just saving water”, says Rob Leaf of the Home Depot. “But it's also saving energy costs on heating your water -- you're not wasting hot water"
All of which bodes well for the type people who are going to occupy these homes. They're the ones with low incomes and counting every dollar.
And even though it does cost a bit more at the front end, it saves a lot over the long haul.
"The occupants will have lower energy bills as a result of the way these houses are built", says Habitat for Humanity’s Phil Prince.
Researchers say low-income families spend up to 17% of pay on home energy -- that drops dramatically in one of these homes.