United Way of Long Island Sells Award-Winning Net-Zero Smart Home To Veteran

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Exterior view of 23 Furman Avenue, a high-performing energy efficient home, in East Patchogue

The United Way of Long Island held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday to announce the pending sale of a previously vacant home that it renovated and turned into an state-of-the-art smart home in East Patchogue.

The U.S. Department of Energy named the Deer Park-based nonprofit as a 2019 Housing Innovation Award Winner after it rebuilt the home in partnership with the Suffolk County Landbank.

“This residence will afford first-time homebuyer, Brian, who is a U.S. Army Veteran, the opportunity to live comfortably within his budget in a high-tech and healthy home for years to come,” said Theresa Regnante, president and CEO of United Way of Long Island. “Building Zero Energy Ready Homes will assist in keeping the middle class and young professionals like Brian on Long Island, as the money saved on yearly utilities helps families afford life’s expenses such as medical bills and food.”

This is the fifth time the nonprofit has won a national award for its smart home construction. But it’s the first time that it built a home that it put up for sale. And its the first in partnership with the Suffolk Landbank.

“Suffolk County is proud to partner with United Way of Long Island to rehabilitate zombie homes and fight blight across our communities,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “With this latest project, we have put this property back to productive use, which will not only add value to the entire neighborhood, but will provide a first-time homebuyer with the opportunity to purchase a new energy efficient home.”

Currently the United Way of LI has 12 projects underway, each certified as a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home. These residential projects are a demonstration to the public and construction community that high quality homes can built with the moderate income-earner in mind, especially young professionals, who are seeking to remain on LI and stay within their budget.

Occupants living in a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home could save up to $9,000 annually in electric and heating utility costs, as compared to a home that uses traditional energy sources.

This three-bedroom, two-bathroom East Patchogue residence demonstrates that homes can be built with sustainable materials, capitalize on solar energy and smart technologies, and remain affordable to maintain all while attractive to the eye. It is Energy Star, includes an electrical vehicle charging station in the driveway, as well as Indoor airPLUS and WaterSense certified by the EPA. The technology provides a continuous flow of purified air, includes superior insulation and windows, uses non-toxic materials and utilizes the principles of Universal Design, which allows residents to age in place safely. 

“This smart home provides superior indoor air quality and comfort, and has advanced technologies that allow it to perform better than net-zero,” Rick Wertheim, Senior Vice President of Housing and Green Initiatives at United Way of Long Island elaborates. “This means that it will have the ability to make the occupant money every month. We are building homes of the future, today.”