PROJECT 02 - Hunting Park Community Solar Initiative
Rooftop solar is one of the best ways to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your home. It is also a really good financial investment. With the federal tax credit and the home equity increase taken into account, the initial investment of rooftop solar should return about 4X what you put in over 25 years - and at that point your panels will still be operating at about 85% efficiency and able to offer you many more years of free energy. The rate of return is like investing your money in the stock market at 5% monthly compounding interest - a very good rate of return, and one that will be steady as long as the sun keeps shining.
The problem for low income families is that they typically do not have the resources for the initial solar investment.
For this reason, we have established a partnership with Philadelphia solar installer Solar States (www.solar-states.com) that creates a fixed rate of savings per kW of system size for rooftop solar installations done through the program. The savings is used in two ways:
1) For residents of Hunting Park, the savings is taken immediate off the cost of their solar installation. We will combine this savings with low- and zero-cost home energy efficiency strategies to bring the cost for financing solar down to the same cost per month as they would have already been spending on their electricity bill.
2) We will also be expanding the initiative beyond Hunting Park to middle and upper income communities, and the savings generated by their installations will go to a Hunting Park climate justice fund. This fund will be overseen by a team of neighborhood leaders and used to hire local labor to do greening, cooling, and energy efficiency works for low income residents for free.
We are currently building the team that will oversee the fund and plan to launch the initiative November 1.
If you are interested in learning more about getting rooftop solar through this program, contact Allen Drew.