October 02, 2017

Collaborating for a Better Community in Flathead County, Montana

Picture of house built by Habitat for Humanity in partnership with BetterBuiltNW using high efficiency standard.

Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley has a history of building homes to high efficiency standards. Participating in BetterBuiltNW’s Next Step Home Pilot program helped them take their homes to the next level of efficiency and form a stronger partnership with Flathead Electric Cooperative.

The Perfect Next Step
Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to eliminate substandard housing. In a climate like Flathead County’s in Montana, where winters feature below-freezing temperatures for several months and summers get hot, this means making sure the homes they build stay comfortable. Habitat for Humanity embraced efficient building practices as a way to reduce energy bills for their families, who earn 30%–60% of the median income in the area.

Asking Habitat for Humanity to participate in the Next Step Home Pilot was a no-brainer for Flathead Electric Co-op Energy Services Representative David Bopp. “They were already at approximately 90% of the Next Step Home
standard,” said David. Habitat for Humanity jumped at the opportunity to go beyond their already rigorous building practices and prove that you can make a highly efficient home in cold weather climates – even with an all-volunteer crew.

In my mind, it's not that difficult to obtain some pretty good goals in terms of using less energy without sacrificing any comport or quality of living.



Columbia Falls, MT 59912


Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley, Flathead Electric Cooperative


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