The season for giving has begun. Now, Habitat for Humanity, Solar Kentucky and former nightclub owner and host of Renewable Energy Podcast David Butler are partnering to raise money to install solar power on Habitat for Humanity homes in five Kentucky cities: Lexington, Louisville, Bowling Green, Berea and Elizabethtown.
This is not the only time that Habitat for Humanity has partnered with solar developers and investors to provide lower-income residences with the benefits of solar power. In July (2016) Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) committed to a $1 million investment to install solar on 79 homes with 18 Habitat affiliates within their service area throughout California.
By organizing benefit concerts in Lexington and Louisville, Butler hopes to help raise funds to install $12,000 solar arrays on homes built by Habitat for Humanity that will provide owners with an estimated $360 in savings in electric costs annually. Butler not only plans to help fund solar installations but will also raise funds for energy efficient upgrades such as new insulation, sealing windows and replacing old furnaces.
“We hope to be able to raise even more money in future years and put some of that into upgrades such as new roofs, and expand to more people because they can make an even bigger difference than solar panels,” Butler told the Lexington Herald Leader.
Low-income homeowners spend 15-to-18 percent of their annual income on electricity. Making homes more energy efficient can reduce energy costs by 20 percent per household, according to Deanna McCord, coordinator of residential energy-efficiency for the Kentucky Housing Corporation. “If you’re living below poverty level, 15 percent of your income is huge. And they don’t have the expendable income to improve the efficiency or do the necessary maintenance over the life of the home,” McCord told the Lexington Herald.
Nonprofit organizations, solar developers and clean energy advocates are coming up with creative and effective ways to provide low-income homeowners and renters through community solar projects and rooftop installations to save on power bills. For instance, the McKnight Lane Affordable Housing Development in Waltham, VT, was transformed into net-zero mobile home park by installing 6-kilowatt rooftop solar arrays and 6-kilowatt hour energy storage systems on 14 homes.Tweet