EAST LOS ANGELES, Calif. — In the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, stands a newly constructed 53-unit affordable housing complex called Sol y Luna Apartments. The building will provide safe, secure housing for some of East LA’s lowest-income residents. To maintain long-term affordability, and ensure the building is protected from rising utility costs, the project includes solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems designed and installed by Los Angeles-based solar company Promise Energy.

This $22 million dollar project is owned by affordable housing developer East Los Angeles Community Corp. (ELACC) and was designed by Silver Lake firm Birba Group Architects. Financed in part by low-income tax credits, Sol y Luna Apartments is certified at the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum level, and has installed efficiency measures including a graywater system along with the solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems.

“The low-income and very low-income residents of Sol y Luna are very excited that their building is powered by clean, renewable energy,” said Maury Ruano, senior project manager at ELACC. “As affordable housing developers, sustainability is an important priority for ELACC, because these solar systems will save us money every year, and greatly reduce Sol y Luna’s overall energy consumption.”

“Promise Energy also filed incentives for us for both solar systems, so in the long run the overall costs of the systems ended up being around $90,000 less than the full installation cost, not including the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit. That’s a lot of extra money back in our pocket we can put towards developing additional affordable housing communities like Sol y Luna for other low-income families and individuals,” Ruano said.

Promise Energy attended the recent grand opening of Sol y Luna, and gave rooftop solar tours to residents and attendees, showcasing the design of the 117-panel solar photovoltaic system and the 24-collector solar hot water system.

“The 35 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system will save the project over $10,000 in annual electric bills every year for the next 25 years or more, while the 24-collector solar water heating system will offset nearly 3,000 therms of natural gas annually,” said Jonas Villalba, vice president of project development at Promise Energy.

“In a city whose low-income population greatly exceeds the amount of available affordable housing, and with utility costs on the rise, we’re proud to work with organizations like ELACC to bring the economic benefits of affordable clean energy to those who need it the most,” said Adam Boucher, CEO of Promise Energy.

For more information, visit www.promiseenergy.com.

Publication date: 8/3/2015

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