America's Industry Helps Make Low-Income Homes More Energy Efficient

Rebuilding Together Yellowstone County, the local affiliate of the nation's largest volunteer home rehabilitation organization, and America's oil and natural gas industry today helped an elderly homeowner with a limited income reduce her energy use and save money.

The Energy Efficient Homes Initiative8 a national partnership between America's oil and natural gas industry and Rebuilding Together, incorporates energy efficiency into home renovations provided to low-income homeowners, many of whom are elderly, disabled or have young children. The initiative is an additional component to the 18-year-old national Rebuilding Together program that will revitalize nearly 10,000 homes this year. Rebuilding Together Yellowstone County is renovating four homes throughout the area, with 79-year old Laura Harris' home undergoing the energy efficiency renovations.

"Together, we are making a positive difference in the lives of those most in need," said Mary Lou Affleck, vice president, Rebuilding Together Yellowstone County. "The industry's support allows us to increase the number of homes we rebuild and provide a better quality of life for our most vulnerable residents."

"America's oil and natural gas industry practices energy efficiency every day within its operations, so we know the significant value of such a commitment," said Pam Malek, community relations, ExxonMobil. "We are delighted to partner with Rebuilding Together Yellowstone County in this outstanding initiative. Our efforts will provide low-income homeowners with the dual benefit of saving energy and money."

Harris, a widow, will receive energy efficiency improvements to her home, which she has lived in for almost 50 years. Since her husband's death and with increasing physical ailment, Harris has been unable to make the necessary home improvements -- physically or financially. As part of the Energy Efficient Homes Initiative, Harris will receive new siding and insulation, windows, doors and a roof extension for drainage. Other renovations to the house include a new front deck, electric unit and interior painting.

"It's a blessing," said Harris. "The improvements will make a big difference and allow me to live a more comfortable life. I'm so thankful and appreciative of the help given to me." "This is a community helping other community members by volunteering time and helping to refurbish people's homes with labor and love," said Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County commissioner. "This is what being a community is all about."

In addition to making homes more energy-efficient, the initiative also provides low-income homeowners with materials and information to help them use energy wisely in the future. Additionally, Rebuilding Together will distribute energy efficiency information and tips to volunteers and other participants nationwide, and conduct outreach and education programs geared to increasing energy efficiency with low-income homeowners and others.

Saturday, September 9, is the fourth annual Rebuild Day in Yellowstone County where hundreds of volunteers will continue their vital mission of providing repairs free of charge to low-income homeowners.

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