By Ari Vanrenen
PG&E recently participated in Habitat for Humanity of San Joaquin County’s home dedication event to celebrate the completion of two new homes built for deserving families in Stockton.
At the event on Saturday (Feb. 27), these families received the keys to their new homes.
But these aren’t your regular run-of-the-mill houses. They are zero net energy homes, which mean that they produce as much energy as they use during a year through a combination of energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy generation. By providing zero net energy homes, these families can be more sustainable as well as save money on their monthly energy bills.
PG&E consultants worked with Habitat to ensure zero net energy capability, recommending additional energy efficiency measures and conducting air sealing measurements.
One of the homes has been set up for detailed monitoring for a year to provide PG&E and Habitat staff with information on how the home and installed equipment are performing. This will help Habitat continue to improve the energy performance of their homes going forward, with the ultimate goal of building zero net energy homes at no additional cost.
“We at Habitat for Humanity of San Joaquin County are dedicated to building beautiful, safe and affordable homes for well-qualified, lower-income families to buy,” said Michael Huber, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of San Joaquin County. “We offer a hand up, not a handout to proud, hardworking families whose income limits preclude the dream of homeownership on the open market. We are very proud of the fact that our homes are built exclusively with volunteer labor.”
Additionally, this year marks the fifth anniversary of PG&E’s Solar Habitat Program in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of San Joaquin County. Since 2011, PG&E has invested $368,250 to fund the full cost of installing rooftop solar on 27 homes, as well as supporting local community revitalization efforts and fundraising events.
“California has ambitious climate goals and zero net energy homes are a big part of this. The state aims to have all new residential construction be zero net energy by 2020. We’re excited to continue our longstanding partnership with Habitat for Humanity to help meet the state’s goals and extend zero net energy capabilities to deserving families in Stockton,” said Peter Turnbull, program manager for zero net energy, PG&E.
Overall, PG&E’s Solar Habitat Program through Northern and Central California has provided more than $9.6 million to help respond to the housing needs of families, in part to fund the installation of solar on more than 600 new-construction Habitat for Humanity homes throughout this area.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.