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Home Depot invests in green homes

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After completing a pilot run last year, the Home Depot Foundation and Habitat for Humanity will expand their Partners in Sustainable Building, a program that funds energy-efficient affordable housing.

Over the next five years, the effort will spend $30 million to construct 5,000 Habitat homes that feature energy-efficient equipment, water-saving appliances and good air quality.

“By embracing the practical principles of green building, our partnership with Habitat for Humanity International is demonstrating that these techniques can actually make homes more affordable to own, maintain and live in from day one and for the long term,” Kelly Caffarelli, president of the foundation, says in a statement.

During the first year, 120 Habitat affiliates in 45 states will receive $3,000 for each home built to Energy Star standards, which are national guidelines for green building.

Home Depot and Habitat aims to construct 1,500 home by the end of 2010.

Analysis of the pilot phase, during which more than 260 energy-efficient homes were built, showed an energy savings of 15 percent to 30 percent.

Home Depot also will provide grant money to help Habitat affiliates learn how to build to national green standards.

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