New Habitat home first of its kind

Posted on Aug 31 2020 in LaGrange County REMC
Habitat for Humanity Home
The LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity home at 2135 S. 435 E., LaGrange, near Royer Lake, was completed earlier this year through a collaboration between Habitat for Humanity, Lakeland High School Building Trades and LaGrange County REMC. Pictured, from left, are Jake Taylor, LaGrange County REMC; Derek Lower, Lower Insulation; Cory Eash, Eash Insulation; Steve Sherck, Lakeland High School Building Trades; John Sisson, LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity; Drew Nordman, graduate of building trades program; Mark Leu, LaGrange County REMC; and Uriel Moreno, building trades student.

A local partnership turned a house into an energy efficient home.

Construction of the newest LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity home was recently completed and came with a multitude of firsts for the community. 

Located near Royer Lake, the 1,100-square-foot home was made possible through a partnership with the Lakeland High School Building Trades program and is marked as the first Habitat home built by its students. The two organizations signed a two-year contract in 2019 to work together to build Habitat homes, and began construction on its first in August 2019. The home was finished by 15 students on March 22.

Building Trades Instructor Steve Sherck explained that the partnership brought an added incentive for his students to put in the hard work and do their best, because they knew the home was going to someone in need.

In addition to that partnership, Habitat and Lakeland worked with LaGrange County REMC to ensure the home was as energy efficient as possible, so that the home would remain comfortable and affordable in the future.

This collaboration resulted in the home being designated as the first Power Moves® Home by the electric cooperative. Only the most energy efficient homes, those earning below a 60 on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, receive the title. Every aspect – from insulation to appliances – is factored into a home’s score.

“We want to build a home, not just a house,” Sherck said. “I’ve always been a big supporter of trying to find the most efficient options.”

LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director John Sisson was grateful for the partnerships, calling it a community project that brought the best out of the students and those who donated supplies. With it becoming harder and harder to find volunteers, the students were a perfect fit to get the job done.

“It was great working with the school,” Sisson said. “We’re looking forward to working with them for another year.”

What is a Power Moves® Home?

A Power Moves Home is a reincarnation of what was formerly a “Touchstone Energy Home.” It’s a special distinction given to newly constructed homes built with energy efficiency in mind and adheres to co-op specifications.

Homes earning below a 60 on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index earn the title, while homes scoring below 50 receive the distinction as well as cash back.

Every aspect of the home is taken into account, from insulation to appliances, and is scored based on HERS. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home.

“It all comes into play, so it’s imperative that if you’re thinking about building, you call us first,” Energy Advisor Jake Taylor said. “It’s a holistic approach.”