New partnership brings solar power to low-income households in … – Lincoln Journal Star

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A brand new partnership is bringing the cost-saving power of the solar to a handful of low-income households in Lincoln.

As a part of its new Saving with Solar program, the Lincoln-Lancaster County department of Habitat for Humanity will likely be offering two low-income households within the metropolis with subscriptions to solar energy by means of a neighborhood mission supplied by Lincoln Electric System since 2016.



Josh Hanshaw

Josh Hanshaw

The program, which permits collaborating households to personal a share within the metropolis’s solar farm output, is anticipated to save lots of every family $320 a yr, scale back its electrical energy payments by practically 25% and displace 46% of its electrical energy consumption.

The program is uncharted territory for the Lincoln group, which typically focuses on building work and supplies inexpensive mortgages to households in want, in accordance with Josh Hanshaw, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln and Lancaster County.

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“Typically, when people think of us, they think of building houses and selling them to low-income families,” Hanshaw mentioned. “But housing affordability goes beyond the payment of physical structures; we try to do what we can to make sure that the sustainability of homeownership is there.”

According to Hanshaw, Habitat typically operates by paying the up-front prices for home enhancements and permitting owners to pay them again over a number of years with no curiosity.

Providing the solar service to the 2 households without spending a dime was made potential by partnerships with the New York City-based Leon Lowenstein Foundation, which supplied the grant funding for the mission, and the Washington, D.C.-based World Resources Institute, which labored with LES and Habitat to facilitate the utilization of the funds.

According to Hanshaw, the choice course of for the Saving with Solar program has concerned households that the nonprofit has labored with beforehand on “crucial home restore tasks,” such as roof replacement.

Going forward, Hanshaw envisions a similar model for the Saving with Solar program, although the funding from the World Resources Institute is not expected to be a repeat occurrence. He said there is the possibility of Habitat paying for a portion of the costs for enrollment in the solar program, or that the shares will continue to be offered to households free of charge.

“At this point, we do not know exactly how the program will be structured,” Hanshaw said.

Ultimately, Hanshaw said he sees the Saving with Solar program as an extension of the organization’s mission to “bring people together to build homes, communities and hope.”

“It actually is sort of an expanded or one other manner that we’re in a position to serve the neighborhood,” he mentioned.


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Reach the author at 402-473-2634 or sbelair@journalstar.com.

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