It’s solar Friday around these parts (job growth! innovation! sabotage!), with the news getting more and more awesome. Solar isn’t just for the rich, and it doesn’t only belong on skyscrapers and McMansions, but also on homes for families who qualify for Habitat for Humanity.
PG&E has donated about $1.7 million in the form of solar panels for 64 Habitat homes in the Bay Area. The solar paneled homes generate about 300 kilowatt hours a month and cause a yearly reduction in utility bills of about $500.
Overall, Habitat for Humanity is no environmental slouch these days, recently registering its 100th LEED certified home in Michigan.
I don’t know if this was the intention of the article but this seems to be highlighting the relatively high price of solar panels. The suggestion at the beginning is that one can only find solar panels on wealthy houses, like McMansions. (There might also be room here to debate whether McMansions could truly be green, even with plenty of solar panels.) Thus, we need to look at the example of Habitat for Humanity where they have found ways to be green even while providing cheaper new house for those who need it. If Habitat for Humanity can make this happen, can other builders?
I wouldn’t be surprised if solar panels become very common on new houses in the next few decades. Not only are they green, it could help homes become more self-sufficient, something I think plenty of homeowners would like in the wake of disasters like Hurricane Sandy. Yet, we have been hearing for years how solar panels are supposed to become cheaper and thus more accessible to more Americans but it hasn’t happened yet…