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Affordable Housing Homes Get Solar Hot Water Heaters

Thirty of the territory’s homes built under the Housing Finance Authority’s affordable home ownership program now have solar hot water heaters.

The latest 24 heaters went on line in December at the Calabash Boom affordable housing community on St. John. The first five were installed in 2010 at the HFA’s Estate Solitude community on St. Croix. The HFA later added a sixth St. Croix residence.

“It makes the electric bill more affordable,” V.I. Energy Office spokesman Don Buchanan said.

The solar hot water heaters were installed using money from American Recovery and Reinvestment Solar Thermal in Moderate Housing Communities program. These funds are usually referred to as Stimulus Funds.

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Energy Office Director Karl Knight said the program illustrates the wide variety of methods the Energy Office used Stimulus Funds to get energy solutions to the residents of the Virgin Islands.

The Calabash Boom project cost $148,000. The work was done by a St. Croix company, Solar Delivered. The Solitude project ran $18,500. Buchanan did not have the name of the contractor.

According to Buchanan, the HFA and the Energy Office hope to have solar hot water heaters installed on another 100 homes before the April 30 deadline for spending the Stimulus Funds money.

John Green, HFA director of planning and construction, said the HFA hopes to use more funds from the program for HFA affordable housing projects proposed on St. Thomas and St. Croix, but there is also the option on using the funds to put solar water heaters on independent, single-family homes being built under the affordable housing guidelines. The goal of the program is to install solar water heaters to reduce electrical demand and associated cost, reduce greenhouse gas emission and create jobs.

Green did not return a phone call requesting further comment.

For more information about the program call the HFA on St. Thomas at 777-4432 and on St. Croix at 277-4432.

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Thirty of the territory’s homes built under the Housing Finance Authority’s affordable home ownership program now have solar hot water heaters.

The latest 24 heaters went on line in December at the Calabash Boom affordable housing community on St. John. The first five were installed in 2010 at the HFA’s Estate Solitude community on St. Croix. The HFA later added a sixth St. Croix residence.

“It makes the electric bill more affordable,” V.I. Energy Office spokesman Don Buchanan said.

The solar hot water heaters were installed using money from American Recovery and Reinvestment Solar Thermal in Moderate Housing Communities program. These funds are usually referred to as Stimulus Funds.

Energy Office Director Karl Knight said the program illustrates the wide variety of methods the Energy Office used Stimulus Funds to get energy solutions to the residents of the Virgin Islands.

The Calabash Boom project cost $148,000. The work was done by a St. Croix company, Solar Delivered. The Solitude project ran $18,500. Buchanan did not have the name of the contractor.

According to Buchanan, the HFA and the Energy Office hope to have solar hot water heaters installed on another 100 homes before the April 30 deadline for spending the Stimulus Funds money.

John Green, HFA director of planning and construction, said the HFA hopes to use more funds from the program for HFA affordable housing projects proposed on St. Thomas and St. Croix, but there is also the option on using the funds to put solar water heaters on independent, single-family homes being built under the affordable housing guidelines. The goal of the program is to install solar water heaters to reduce electrical demand and associated cost, reduce greenhouse gas emission and create jobs.

Green did not return a phone call requesting further comment.

For more information about the program call the HFA on St. Thomas at 777-4432 and on St. Croix at 277-4432.