Solar Retrofits Make Homes Healthier and More Affordable
Galen Terrace used to be one of the most troubled properties in Washington, D.C. To hear residents tell the story, walls were covered with water stains and doors were falling off the hinges when they decided it was time for a change.
With assistance from National Housing Trust and Enterprise, residents bought the property in 2006 and made substantial improvements, including the use of green materials and design. In a remarkable turnaround, Galen Terrace became the first property in Washington, D.C. to meet Enterprise’s Green Communities Criteria.
Towards the end of 2013, through a loan from Enterprise Community Loan Fund to NHT, solar panels will be installed at Galen Terrace.
The Bank of America's Energy Efficiency Finance Program, which made it possible for Enterprise to provide this loan to NHT, will help Galen Terrace and four other properties receive green upgrades – each with its own story to tell – include Meridian Manor, St. Dennis, R Street Apartments and Copeland Manor.
Overall, 340 homes are slated to be retrofit with solar panels and solar thermal systems. Combined, the project is expected to save 50-60 percent in common area utility expenses while cutting total carbon dioxide emissions by almost 255,000 pounds per year. More importantly, residents of these buildings in Washington, D.C. will benefit from reduced energy costs and a cleaner living environment.