Sunrun affordable housing project includes solar job training for residents

sunrun Villa Loma Apartments

BRIDGE Housing, in partnership with Sunrun cut the ribbon on a new solar installation at Villa Loma Apartments, an affordable housing community in Carlsbad, Calif. The new installation serves 344 families and will help residents save an average of more than $60 per month on their electricity bills and an expected $7.5 million in total resident savings over the next 20 years.

“Our partnership with BRIDGE Housing supports energy equity and exemplifies our commitment to providing solar access to more than 11,000 households,” states Mary Powell, CEO at Sunrun.

The 780-kilowatt installation will also generate immediate energy savings of 30% at Villa Loma, totaling $15,000 annually in the property budget. Those savings will be used for resident support services and new programs.

“With today’s increasing inflation, $60 a month can be the difference between having basic necessities or not, such as buying groceries, a tank of gas, or back-to-school items for families,” said Ken Lombard, president and chief executive officer at BRIDGE Housing. “The solar panel installation at Villa Loma provides immediate cost savings to families, while providing long term benefits to the entire community, the city of Carlsbad, and the planet.”

In addition to cost savings, Sunrun is offering paid solar job training opportunities to residents at Villa Loma through the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program. Residents who enter and complete the training program can be fast-tracked to a good-paying job in the rapidly growing clean energy sector.

“It’s exciting that there are programs to make solar available to renters and not just homeowners,” said Jonathan Earls, resident at Villa Loma Apartments. “I’m so thankful to everyone involved for giving us access to solar energy. It’s helping me save money on my electric bills and now I can do my part as a renter to make the world a cleaner place.”

Since 2018, Sunrun has executed 645 affordable housing contracts and successfully completed over 150 solar installations to benefit low-income renters, delivering clean energy and substantial bill savings to over 11,100 households. When all 645 projects are completed, Sunrun anticipates that yearly bill savings will exceed $18 million, saving all California ratepayers over $3 million annually in decreased electricity rates.

“The Villa Loma project is the culmination of good public policy coupled with Sunrun’s commitment to provide solar to renters in traditionally overlooked communities,” said Scott Sarem, VP of Multifamily at Sunrun. “This is what energy equity looks like.”

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