First Solar Install Ever was completed on December 3, 2011 on Habitat’s 25th Home
On December 3, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 20 volunteers from Harmon Solar installed donated solar systems on two neighboring Habitat for Humanity Desert Foothills (HFHDF) homes in Arizona. The first system was installed on HFHDF’s 25th home, which is the organization’s first house ever to receive solar and the first home to receive an Energy Star rating.
Habitat for Humanity Desert Foothills based in Phoenix, Arizona owns a plot of land in North Phoenix, which will ultimately be the site of four homes. The first of the four is completed and was recently dedicated to Jessica Steier, who is a single mother. A milestone for HFHDF, the 25th home is currently under construction, and was dedicated on December 10, 2011 to another single mother, Fatima Martinez.
Harmon Solar rallied the support of vendors to donate a portion of the equipment for the two photovoltaic systems, and the company covered the remainder of the parts, plus labor for the installation. In addition to these current projects, Harmon Solar has committed to becoming HFHDF’s solar partner for future home builds.
Aside from Harmon Solar, supplies for the solar arrays have been donated by AEE Solar, CED GreenTech, ProSolar, Renusol America, Saint-Gobain Solar, and Specialty Roofing. Both photovoltaic systems combined are valued at approximately $31,000.
Steier’s house received a 3.08 kW solar array, containing 32 panels, and Martinez’s home is a 3.52 kW system, comprised of 14 panels. The solar systems could initially save the new homeowners up to $750 per year on energy costs. However, the savings are anticipated to increase as energy costs are expected to rise annually.
Construction of the single-story, 1,200-square-foot, three bedroom, and one-and-half bathroom homes was made possible by generous contributions from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and HelmsBriscoe. The homes were built primarily by volunteers and supervised by HFHDF’s Construction Manager. The 25th home is the organization’s first to receive solar and the first home to be certified for an Energy Star rating.
HFHDF has a rigorous selection process for identifying recipients of Habitat homes. The selected applicant works in partnership with HFHDF to build and buy their own home, and they need to meet several criteria. The potential homeowner must have a need for simple, decent, affordable housing. For example, their current living space may be too small for their family, or they are paying more than they can afford. The applicant must have the ability to pay for housing, as well as other expenses. Lastly, each family has to contribute to the construction of their home by providing sweat equity hours – 400 hours for a dual parent household or 200 hours for single parent families. Interested homeowners must attend an orientation session to receive an application, and they need to also be a legal resident of the United States.
For more information about CED GreenTech, visit, www.cedgreentech.com; ProSolar, visit www.prosolar.com; Renusol America, visit www.renusolamerica.com; Saint-Gobain Solar, visit www.saint-gobain-solar.com/eng; or Specialty Roofing, visit www.specialtyroofing.com.
About Harmon Solar:
Harmon Solar is a division of Harmon Electric, a second generation, family-owned electrical contracting firm founded in 1975. Harmon Solar was launched in 2008 and specializes in the design and installation of commercial and residential photovoltaic systems. Harmon Solar is one of the largest installers in APS’s territory, and the company is one of only 47 residential solar installers to achieve the designation of Qualified Solar Installer (QSI) by APS. Harmon Solar is located at 945 W. Deer Valley Rd, Phoenix, Arizona.
Founded in 2001, Habitat for Humanity Desert Foothills (HFHDF) is an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a faith-based, global affordable housing builder. One of 13 Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Arizona, HFHDF serves families in the communities of Cave Creek, Carefree, North Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Rio Verde, Tonto Verde, Anthem, New River and Desert Hills. A 501 (C)(3) non-profit organization, HFHDF’s mission is to provide simple, decent, affordable homes to deserving families in need in the Desert Foothills area. Since its inception, HFHDF has successfully built six multi-family housing developments and two single-family houses, providing homes for 24 families in Cave Creek, Arizona. HFHDF recently opened ReStore in Anthem. Open to the public, ReStore sells new and gently used building materials, household items, furniture and fixtures at 20 to 70 percent off retail prices, and proceeds from the sale of goods help support the mission of HFHDF.