One piece of advise everyone kept telling me as I prepared to enter high school was “get involved ” Unfortunately I took this advice too much to heart and ended up taking part in what ever I could get my hands on, to the point where I was pretty burnt out by senior year. By that time I had my hands tied to most of the organizations out of obligation, but one that I actually found value and enjoyment in was Habitat for Humanity.
As a freshman in Habitat I had a chance to make some good friends in older grades, which was nice since I don’t have any older brothers or sisters. By my senior year I enjoyed setting up the trips, sending reminders to bring tools and pack lunches, and seeing with awe how Habitat could create beautiful neighborhoods out of slums.
That’s why I got so excited when I read about Habitat for Humanity pairing with PG&E to provide solar generated electricity to low-income families in Oakland, California.
Developers are building a twelve-unit housing project in Oakland’s District Seven. These units include solar panels that create close to 300kWh each month. This can help reduce utility bills (about $500 a year), making Habitat’s housing even more affordable for low-income families.
This project is a result of the renewal of the five year old PG&E Solar Habitat Program. Since 2007, the project has helped to create four hundred sixteen solar-powered homes in Central and Northern California. So far in 2012, PG&E’s $1.7 million donation has helped put panels on 64 Habitat homes. I can only hope solar energy is adopted into Habitat’s housing on a more national scale soon.
Having worked on Habitat houses for years, I know the organization’s constant effort to reduce costs for its families while still providing them a quality home. Solar seems to fit this mission perfectly and I can’t wait to see this deployed on a larger scale. I’ve been meaning to pick up a hammer and get involved again. This may be a perfect push to do so.