A Unique New Habitat for Humanity Home

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Habitat for Humanity has built 80 homes in Cabell County over the years, but its latest project is drawing extra attention.

The Huntington home boasts solar panels on the roof of the house. It's the first of its kind built by Habitat, and the organization says there will be more to come.

The goal is to reduce the cost of utilities for its new homeowners and make owning a home more affordable.

"It could be anywhere from $20 to $30 a month savings on their electric bill," Colin Williams of Mountain View Solar said. "The panels will produce electricity for the next 25 or 30 years with very little maintenance."

Heather Meade, who now owns the house with her husband Steve, said the process of building the house has taken a long time -- about 18 months.

"Probably the best virtue you could have with Habitat is patience," she said.

During those eighteen months, Meade and her husband spent 700 "sweat equity" hours working on their home and other Habitat projects, alongside volunteers. The organization requires 450 hours for a married couple.

After 450 hours, Meade joked, she stopped counting.

"We came here every day when they were working that we could," she said. "We've learned a lot. I think we've appreciated it a little bit more in the end."

The Meades and their children said they are excited to have the extra space once they move in.

The home is the first of an eventual ten homes Habitat plans to build in the neighborhood.

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