Giving Back to the Community in 2016
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From the beginning, and now as a Certified B Corp, we have tried to build a company that would have maximum positive impact for people and the planet. To that end, we believe our support of the local community is just as important as our core mission to accelerate the transition to clean energy. Nonprofit organizations are often the unsung heroes of our communities, providing critical services to needs that would otherwise go unmet, often on extremely tight budgets.
As part of our commitment to the communities in which we work and live, we’ve installed roughly 5 MW of solar for more than 100 nonprofit organizations in the region. This work helps provide long-term economic and environmental sustainability for these organizations, and every year these solar projects eliminate roughly 5 million lbs. of carbon pollution from our region by generating more than 6,000,000 kilowatt-hours of clean, local, renewable energy.
We’re grateful that our company has always attracted people who love to contribute to their community outside of work. In 2015, to encourage more volunteering, ReVision Energy started officially offering paid time off for volunteers. Some of our intrepid staffers have taken this employee benefit and leveraged it to get solar installed on nonprofits in our region.
Below are a few examples of solar projects fully donated to the nonprofit host organization in 2016.
Pedal for Power Brings Solar to Cross Roads House in Portsmouth
After more than two years in the making, the “Pedal for Power” 18 kilowatt solar electric project atop Cross Roads House in Portsmouth is complete! “Pedal for Power” started with ReVision Energy Project Manager Chris Pamboukes who, along with riding partner Josh Andrews, had a plan to bicycle from Vancouver, British Columbia to San Diego, California. The pair added a fundraising component to their epic bike journey, and “Pedal for Power” was born.
Ultimately, they raised $12,000, and thanks to a rebate from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, a generous grant from the Thomas W. Hass Fund managed by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and the contribution of ReVision Energy employees who used their company paid volunteering time to work on the project, the installation was completed in early November, 2016.
Cross Roads House Executive Director Martha Stone says, “We are so excited and very grateful that the Pedal for Power project started by Chris and Josh is becoming a reality. Their dedication and commitment has been remarkable. With the generous support of ReVision Energy and the many donors who supported this project, Cross Roads House will benefit from this solar array with a significantly reduced electric bill for many years to come. Given that most of our operating budget comes from donations, every dollar we can save on shelter expenses is important to us.”
Cross Roads House opened in 1982 and is the largest emergency and transitional shelter in New Hampshire, serving eastern New Hampshire and southern Maine. Cross Roads offers food, shelter and a proven program to assist residents in achieving their goals of independent and sustainable housing. Cross Roads House maintains an online wish list of year-round and holiday needs at: http://www.crossroadshouse.org/donations/wish_list.htm
First “Maine Solar Donation” Built at Midcoast Maine Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Rockport
After a competitive selection process that had over 40 worthy nonprofits submitting, ReVision Energy’s “Maine Donation” selection team unanimously chose the Midcoast Habitat for Humanity (MHFH) in Rockport, Maine as the awardee. Ultimately, we built a 5.3 kilowatt solar array which is projected to reduce MHFH’s energy bills by over 1/3 for the 40+ year lifetime of the system.
MHFH provides the opportunity of homeownership with a no-profit, zero interest mortgage to low-income families living and/or working in Knox County. Families are selected based on housing need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner with Habitat, and earn between 30% and 60% of the area median household income. Families are required to take a homebuyer/ homeowner education class to help prepare them for successful homeownership. During the past 26 years, 28 weatherization projects have been completed and 26 new homes constructed and 2 rehabs. MHFH has a proven track record of providing healthy, affordable housing for low-income families, enabling them to regain and sustain their livelihoods and control in their lives. MHFH has also tithed to Habitat affiliates in underdeveloped nations, providing homes for 23 families.
Pope Francis House in Scarborough Powered by ReVision Energy Solar Donation
In 2016 we also installed solar for another Habitat for Humanity project – this one for the “Pope Francis” home which is the first home to be built in a new 13-home Habitat project in Scarborough to serve mixed-income families. The solar electric panels and solar hot water system donated by ReVision Energy are expected to meet close to 100% of the home’s annual electric and water heating needs.
Chad Mullin, the construction manager for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland, said, “Our goal here at Habitat is to build simple, decent, affordable, and sustainable homes for folks in need of a decent and affordable place to live. Often times when people think of affordability, they assume we are talking about the purchase price of a home, and it does. However, we also know that the people buying homes from us need the home to be affordable to live in (i.e. Heat and maintain). In a time when energy prices can be volatile and unpredictable, including solar in our build will assist us in providing a home, to a deserving family, that is very affordable, and predictable to live in.”