Habitat for Humanity, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), and the City of Oakland recently teamed up to pair solar power with affordable housing – providing a solid renewable energy choice for low income people.
Thanks to the PG&E’s Solar Habitat’s program, a new twelve unit low-income housing project located in Oakland’s District Seven included solar panels, reducing the utility bills for the new home-owners.
Homeowners save up around $500 a year with the PG&E Solar Habitat Program. Meanwhile, each panel creates close to 300 kilowatt hours of clean energy each month, or 132,000 pounds of carbon dioxide being taken out of the atmosphere over a 30-year life span, PG&E said.
This project coincided with the renewal of the five year old PG&E Solar Habitat Program. Since 2007, the project has helped to create four hundred sixteen solar-powered homes in Central and Northern California, thanks to investments totalling $6.4 million, PG&E said in the release.
So far in 2012, PG&E’s $1.7 million donation has helped put panels on 64 Habitat homes.
“Habitat for Humanity’s mission of making home ownership a reality for deserving families in California and around the world is one PG&E is proud to support,” said PG&E Company President Chris Johns.
“Through our flagship Solar Habitat program, PG&E and Habitat for Humanity are bringing clean, renewable and affordable energy to homes and neighborhoods across PG&E’s service area, particularly to those that historically have been under served and overlooked. Together, we’re building a brighter future for the people of this State,” Johns said.
As solar prices continue to fall, becoming cost competitive with fossil fuels, programs to team renewables with affordable housing are gaining popularity.
Last year, the St. Louis Housing Authority (SLHA), along with Real Goods Solar helped provide 617 kilowatts (KW) of power to four low income housing projects and their administrative offices. The result was expected to reduce electricity use by 75 percent at SLHA commercial complexes, and the Authority’s offices by 15 percent.
Meanwhile, Denver Housing Authority announced a plan in August to increase solar power by more than 2.5MW to 387 single unit homes by April 2013.
With former US President Bill Clinton citing solar energy as part of the low hanging fruit for the economy, solar energy,and affordable housing maybe a perfect match made in heaven for meeting the world’s clean energy demands for low income people.
Source: PR Newswire