Why Solar on Habitat Homes?￼
Benefits to partner families
- 75% of Virginia households suffer from an unaffordable electricity burden.
- Solar greatly reduces this burden for the entirety of the mortgage term.
- A 4 kW solar system (10-12 solar panels) produces approximately 500 kilowatt hours of electricity each month, saving homeowners $50-60, depending on the service provider.
- Solar will protect partner families from proposed electricity rate increases of 3.6% each year for the next 10 years or more.
- Generating and monitoring their own electricity incentivizes households to pay closer attention to energy efficiency, electricity production, and electricity usage.
- Solar homeowners can choose to sell their Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to supplement their income (SRECs are currently worth $15-20 per month for 4kW solar homeowners, Jan. 2022).
Benefits to Habitat affiliate
- Expands the local donor base and improves the security of the affiliate’s loan portfolio.
- Solar barnraisings increase opportunities for media exposure.
- Broadens the Habitat brand by focusing on the affordability of operating a home as well as creating climate-change solutions.
What is needed from an affiliate?
- Affiliates must have a volunteer, board member or staff person who is interested in implementing solar programs. This person will liaise with GiveSolar to implement programs.
- Habitat affiliates must prioritize energy efficiency in their home building and renovations.
- Interest in carrying out a fully funded solar pilot project.
- Interest in implementing a long-term sustainable solar program (five years or more).
- Willingness to incorporate solar systems into house plans and construction processes.
What is possible?
- Partnering with a solar installer who is willing to install at a reduced cost.
- Funding for a pilot project from the Rotary Club, a Just Pax Fund grant, or motivated local donors.
- A statewide effort to create solar programs within all interested Habitat affiliates.
Benefits for the planet
- Helps to establish the expectation that affordable housing can achieve net-zero emissions.
- Each 4 kW solar system reduces greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to planting 120 trees in a year.
- Establishes that solar is for everyone, regardless of income.
Assistance provided by GiveSolar
- Grant funding for a solar pilot project.
- Assistance in choosing an appropriate building site for solar pilot project.
- Identifying a local solar installer who is willing to install at a reduced cost.
- Assistance in organizing an inaugural solar barnraising.
- Resources for media and donor relations.
- Resources for developing a sustainable solar program (Solar Access Toolbox).
- Resources for integrating solar energy into the fundraising strategy of the affiliate.
- Access to donated solar materials and statewide grant funding.
- Access to GiveSolar’s donor database.
Actual Habitat homeowner electric bill after installing solar
The solar system went into service on April 22, 2021. Learn more