Stay warm, for less.

In our every day lives, it can be easy to overlook the simple pleasures like a warm place to sleep, a hot shower, or knowing that the lights will turn on every time we hit the switch. However, for 35 million low-income Americans, that's not a luxury they can always afford. In some cases, these families spend up to 50 percent of their monthly income on energy and utility bills. On top of that, most of these families are forced to live in older homes that are hindered by inefficient HVAC systems, drafty windows, and poor insulation.

Then, there's the financial stress that comes with it. That's why Nest – smart home products – and United way have teamed up to help reduce the burden. 

Launched in 2018, the Power Project has helped raise over $800,000 for nonprofits, like Habitat for Humanity and United Way, that are helping families who struggle with energy costs. Even Google is getting involved -- and, together with Nest, are helping to install nearly one million energy-saving smart thermostats across the country.

According to independent studies, the Nest thermostats save people on average 10 to 12 percent on heating costs and up to 15 percent on cooling, which for a family in need, definitely helps. Not to mention, it helps reduce the environmental impact.

All of this wouldn't be possible without nonprofits like United Way, which helps provide affordable energy solutions to nearly 1,200 communities across the nation. And if you or somebody you know is in need of assistance, they can reach out through United Way's 2-1-1 number. Here, they'll connect you with the resources you'll need to help reduce the burden of energy and utility bills.

Of all of the services United Way offers through its 2-1-1 program, they say that energy assistance is the second most requested assistance. Of course, they wouldn't be able to help without you. So if you want to help low-income families save money and be a little more green, don't hesitate to donate to your local United Way!

What are your thoughts? Do you have any tips to make our homes a little more energy efficient? If so, let us know in the comments below!

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