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For the fifteenth year in a row, CHP continued its annual tradition of participating in a community-based project as part of National NeighborWorks Week by teaming up with the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) to help another nonprofit organization with a sustainable solution to budget-busting energy bills.

The Mission, which ministers to low or fixed-income individuals and families who struggle with chronic or emergency food and clothing needs due to sudden loss of income or property, re-located two years ago to a historic, 5,000-square-foot brick building in downtown Pearisburg, Virginia. The brick building was highly energy inefficient, costing the nonprofit up to $3,400 each year in utility bills. For the past five years, the Mission has requested funding from the CFNRV to cover their high utility costs. This year, however, CHP and the CFNRV worked together to reduce the Mission’s need for annual funding requests by improving the facility’s efficiency, comfort, safety, and sustainability.

According to Mission Director Amy Reynolds, the Mission has already noticed a dramatic difference in the building’s reliance on air conditioning since CHP volunteers insulated the attic space and reduced the attic’s air infiltration levels. “Almost immediately, we could see an improvement. We used to set our air conditioner to 68 degrees in order to stay cool in the summer, and now we’re comfortable with it set four degrees higher. We’re helping the environment by using less energy, and as a result we are saving money on electricity bills. Because of this, we’re going to be able to serve more people, which ultimately benefits the whole community. We are very excited!”

The costs of the project were covered by grant funding from NeighborWorks America; donations from CHP, the CFNRV, and the Mission; as well as in-kind contributions from 84 Lumber and Best Distributing.

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