Like so much else about Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, ClimateMaster's involvement with the charity homebuilder started with volunteers.
A couple of ClimateMaster employees who had donated their own labor to Habitat construction started talking it up at work, said Dan Ellis, president of the Oklahoma City maker of water-source and geothermal heat pumps. Ellis said it got company leaders' attention as way to share the success it was having.
That was in 2004 and 2005, and ClimateMaster donated a few geothermal systems for Habitat homes. In 2006, the company joined in a Habitat Builders Blitz, where 10 houses were built in a matter of weeks.
And that was all 300 Habitat homes ago, Ellis said Wednesday at a reception observing the accomplishment at the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association event center near Britton Road and Broadway Extension. The 300th geothermal home was dedicated Friday on SE 26 in the Las Rosas neighborhood.
That means that in less than a decade, ClimateMaster — with assistance from Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co., which helps improve homes' climate envelopes, installer Comfortworks and geothermal driller B&H Construction — has equipped some 40 percent of the 700-plus homes Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity has built the past 25 years.
The effort has made Central Oklahoma Habitat one of the most energy-efficient homebuilders in Oklahoma and among the top in the country, “saving families $700 to $800 on average per year,” said Ann Felton Gilliland, president and CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat.
She said working with Ellis and ClimateMaster “has really catapulted our construction program to the next level, which ultimately benefits out families.”