CFA Institute and Habitat for Humanity Pilot Carbon Offset Project

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Homeowners in one of Habitat for Humanity's new developments in Charlottesville will save hundreds of dollars a year on energy bills thanks to a pilot partnership.

The Charlottesville-based CFA institute is donating $80,000 to allow Habitat to build energy-efficient upgrades into 10 new homes in Harmony Ridge. The nonprofit plans to build the development on land along Fifth Street.

CFA estimates the carbon offset program will save each family nearly $900 a year.

“This has been something that's been on our minds since we moved into our LEED gold-certified building,” Kelli Palmer of CFA said. “We've been looking for opportunities to manifest what we're doing in our own facility out in our own community, and Habitat for Humanity has been a willing and engaged partner in that conversation for multiple years.”

Habitat hopes to start construction on the Harmony Ridge neighborhood in the next month or two.

Release from the CFA Institute:

Charlottesville, VA - CFA Institute and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville are partnering to save money for Habitat Partner Families and reduce long-term carbon emissions from the Charlottesville community through a new Carbon Offset project.

The pilot project will significantly improve energy efficiency for ten homes in Habitat’s Harmony Ridge development by incorporating energy use-reduction technology in their construction.

CFA Institute is investing $80,000 in the project, enabling Habitat to upgrade the energy efficiency of the planned homes. The upgrades include improved insulation and wall construction as well as environmentally conscious windows, heating, and lighting. The improvements are expected to save each Habitat Partner Family close to $900 a year in energy costs, which means saving approximately $27,000 over the life of a 30-year mortgage.

“At Habitat, we believe that housing is transformative. With a safe, decent, affordable home, families can provide stability for their children. Their sense of dignity and pride grows, as do emotional security and educational and job prospects,” said Dan Rosensweig, president and CEO at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville. “We’re grateful for [the] CFA Institute investment in our community. The Carbon Offset project will make an ongoing difference in the lives of each Habitat Partner Family at Harmony Ridge by significantly lowering their monthly energy bill. It will also have sustained environmental benefits, reducing long-term carbon emissions by improving the energy efficiency of each of these homes.”

Harmony Ridge is a 14-unit sustainable, mixed-income development adjacent to downtown and Cherry Avenue. Ten of the fourteen units are reserved for Habitat Partner Families, who purchase the homes by contributing hundreds of hours of sweat equity, completing a financial education requirement, and making monthly mortgage payments. The monthly payments, in turn, fund the construction of future Habitat homes.

“The Carbon Offset project represents a strategic partnership that makes a lasting investment in the environment and the lives of families in our local community,” said Kelli Palmer, director of corporate citizenship for CFA Institute. “Mission-aligned partnerships designed to enhance the resiliency of our community are a central focus of CFA Institute corporate citizenship initiatives today and in the years ahead.”

The Carbon Offset project is the first known carbon offset transaction fully executed in Charlottesville, including purchase and fulfillment.

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