For Imagine!, creating a new, sustainable way of assisting some of our most vulnerable citizens meant creating a comprehensive plan for increasing efficiencies while improving services at the same time. The development and construction of our SmartHomes using green technologies and building techniques was a natural extension of this effort.
Our use of green technologies embodies the core of Imagine!’s mission, which is to provide tools and supports that allow people with developmental disabilities to become active members of their community and contributing citizens. Living in a home designed to limit impacts on the environment and human health, and enhance their neighbors’ lives, certainly enables SmartHome residents to contribute in a tangible and meaningful way to their community.
And saving money on energy costs means we are using our funding wisely, and also means we can direct more of our funds to providing innovative services.
Now that the homes have been in operation for awhile, we are getting data that indicates our approach was, well, smart!
Here’s a quick snapshot of one example of energy usage at the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont compared to a similar home operated by Imagine!. The comparison home does not have many of the energy saving features that make the Charles Family SmartHome so efficient. The difference is significant: the average cost of natural gas per day at the comparison home is $7.86, while the average cost of natural gas per day at the Charles Family SmartHome is only $3.01.