Solar Power Recipients Share What Energy Savings Mean to Them
By Anna Sorokina, Investment Intern
It’s April – trees are budding, the sun is shining and powering those beautiful solar panels on rooftops. April is also an exciting time because it’s the official Earth Month and Financial Literacy Month. Sunwealth is all about combining finance and environmental impact because we know that solar isn’t just good for the planet; it can generate non-concessionary returns for investors and meaningful savings for energy recipients.
Our power purchasers and project hosts agree – savings on a monthly power bill is a major benefit and incentive for installing solar. In light of Financial Literacy Month, we spoke to a few energy recipients to find out what this money means to them.
Meet Olive and Alphonse Knight, Dorchester residents and climate activists, who participated in the Solar Access Program administered by Resonant Energy – with Sunwealth financing the project. The 6-kilowatt solar installation on the roof of their house may be small, but it will save the couple $520 per year as they are preparing for retirement.
“Today, every opportunity to save is important to us,” says Mrs. Knight. “Having solar on our roof is good for our budget, with the added bonus of helping us keep the earth green for our grandchildren and their children.”
For nearly 50 years, Mustard Seed Catholic Worker House has brought together a diverse community of volunteers to provide meals and support to Worcester residents in need. The organization operates a soup kitchen serving 80-200 meals a night and a food pantry providing food for individuals and families. The 11-kilowatt solar installation will provide Mustard Seed with close to $16,000 in energy savings over the system’s lifetime, helping the organization continue their work.
“Energy savings will help defray costs we incur for items like paper goods, cleaning supplies, and food pantry items,” says Paula Bushey, treasurer at Mustard Seed. “We operate solely off donations and are grateful to have this additional money that we can use for our labor of love,” adds Michael Boover, the organization’s co-founder.
In taking a step to achieve its sustainability goals, the City of Somerville turned to Sunwealth to purchase solar power from four of our solar projects in and around Somerville – Windsor at Cambridge Park, Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, Windsor at Maxwell’s Green, and Greentown Labs. This will help reduce the City’s dependency on fossil fuels and generate 2.15M in lifetime savings.
“What is exciting about these projects is that the City Council is going to use the energy savings to further other environmental initiatives in Somerville, like funding energy efficiency upgrades and buying Renewable Energy Credits,” says Oliver Sellers-Garcia, Director of Sustainability and Environment for the City of Somerville. “The sun gives us limitless energy and significant savings to keep making the city more sustainable.”
That’s right – if there is one takeaway we want folks to have from this Financial Literacy Month, it is that as the sun continues to generate abundant energy, installing solar remains a great way to save on monthly power expenses. (Who knew that financial literacy could benefit Earth Month?) No matter how small the project is, this money makes a positive difference in people’s lives – and we are proud to help make that impact.
About the Author
Anna Sorokina is an Investment Associate co-op at Sunwealth and a senior at Northeastern University. She is passionate about renewable energy and believes in the power of education, art, and personal action when it comes to our responsibility for Mother Earth.