The Home Depot Foundation and Habitat for Humanity have announced the national expansion of Partners in Sustainable Building (PSB), a five-year $30 million green building initiative that will help incorporate sustainable building practices in 5,000 green homes nationwide. More than 135 Habitat affiliates across 42 states will receive 3,000 for each home built to ENERGY STAR standards and up to $5,000 for each home built to a higher green standard. The Home Depot Foundation president, Kelly Caffarelli, states that she hopes their partnership with Habitat for Humanity is able to bring the "practical financial and health benefits of green building and maintenance to families of modest incomes."

From the official release:

Through the sustainable building program, participating Habitat for Humanity affiliates have already certified nearly 1,500 sustainably built homes nationwide. By incorporating practices such as creating a tight building envelope and using efficient, durable materials in the construction process, many of these homes achieved green building certification with little additional cost. In many instances, the homes also benefit from landscaping projects that feature native plants, trees and other features that provide valuable shade and ground cover. The homes also include features that help them operate efficiently, including:
  • High-efficiency appliances
  • Water-conserving plumbing fixtures
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Low- and No-VOC paints
  • Quality insulation and ventilation systems
Results from the first year of the program show energy savings, lower utility bills and health benefits for the homeowners. According to the U.S. EPA, by following green building standards, homeowners can potentially see a savings of 30 percent or more in their utility bills.