Solar panel installation reduces carbon footprint and costs for affordable housing sector.
HumanGood has been making strides in our efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and costs for our properties and residents. Beacon Development Group, HumanGood’s development arm, has been installing solar panels on new affordable housing communities and rehabilitation projects using two solar technologies: solar photovoltaic, which uses sunlight to generate electric currents, and thermal, which uses sunlight to heat water used in the communities. Currently, more than a dozen affordable housing communities own their own solar system whether it is solar electric or solar hot water. Outside ownership, there are also other options to provide these technologies for our communities.
The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) and Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) programs help provide clean energy and save costs for residents at no cost to the property. The programs are offered to select California utility providers and present financial benefits, improve environmental sustainability, and offset the costs of climate change for communities. Approximately 50 percent of the solar produced will reduce residents’ energy bills while the other 50 percent benefits the communities themselves.
“We have the footprint across our portfolio to use the sun to power our buildings and in some cases, heat the water used by our residents,” said George Sousou, construction management director, Beacon Development Group. “There are many benefits to solar whether it’s the reduction in our buildings’ carbon footprint, the cost savings to daily operations and residents, or just doing our part of being responsible building owners.”
Beacon’s construction management department installed solar technology on four HumanGood affordable housing communities across California through the SOMAH program: Valley Vista, Judson Terraces Homes, Life’s Garden, and Sycamore Terrace. Fern Lodge is also 75 percent complete with its installation. Beacon plans to complete installation at six more communities in the next year under a contract with SunRun.
“I hope to one day see solar and other renewable energy alternatives across our entire portfolio of affordable housing and life plan communities,” said Sousou. By the end of 2024, Beacon plans to install solar panels in a total of 23 HumanGood affordable housing communities in California.