Thursday, February 22, 2024

Wesley Family Services Cut Ribbon On Rooftop Solar Energy System With West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund In Westmoreland County

On February 22,
Wesley Family Services was joined by Westmoreland County Commissioner, Douglas Chew; West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund; and the PA Solar Center to cut the ribbon on its brand-new rooftop solar energy system at its Pioneer Apartments location, which was installed by local developer, EIS Solar

Wesley Family Services went solar through the PA Solar Center’s G.E.T. Solar Program, which provides free technical assistance and financial guidance to businesses and organizations looking to go solar.

The 104.5kW solar energy system, installed by local developer EIS Solar, is estimated to produce about 110,800 kWh and reduce the facility's utility bill by 78%. EIS estimates that the system will save the nonprofit a potential $700,000 over 25 years.

Wesley Family Services received a $170,720 grant from West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, leaving only a nominal amount for Wesley to fund from its own budget.  

Additional financial support was provided by Collective Sun.

Solar on Wesley’s facility is only one of the impressive energy components of this new building. The building is LEED Gold Certified, and the apartments were built to Passive House Standards.

“Wesley Family Services is proud to continue our sustainability efforts by investing in clean and affordable solar energy,” said Doug Muetzel, CEO of Wesley Family Services. “In the face of inflation and rising costs, our rates and revenue as a nonprofit tend to remain fixed. It’s a relief to be able to save big on our electric bill with the help of solar.”

“With energy bills rising an average of 40-50 percent over the past few years, along with the incentives of the [federal] Inflation Reduction Act, we are seeing countless customers make significant savings by flipping the switch to solar,” said Joe Morinville, President of EIS Solar. “We congratulate Wesley Family Services for having the vision and resolve to achieve this milestone and move their organization into the clean energy economy.”

Wesley Family Services was also presented with the Lodestar Award from the PA Solar Center for demonstrating local leadership and vision for going solar. 

The PA Solar Center said it hopes Wesley Family Services will serve as an inspiration to other area businesses and organizations to consider making the switch.

“Wesley Family Services’ solar energy system is a great example of what can be accomplished when the right policies and stellar leadership are in place,” said Leo Kowalski, Program Director of the PA Solar Center. “It was an honor to help this local, respected institution plan a path forward to making the clean energy transition and saving money that will be better spent in achieving their mission.”

Solar energy is the fastest growing energy in the country and is saving businesses, nonprofits, communities, and residents thousands of dollars in utility bills. 

Businesses that go solar are hedging against volatile electricity pricing because the cost of solar, once the upfront equipment costs are paid, is free.

The Pennsylvania Solar Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit effort to raise the awareness of the benefits of solar energy in Pennsylvania. Click Here to sign up for regular updates.

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-- Feb. 28 Webinar: Meet Local Experts Making Our Communities Sustainable  [PaEN]

[Posted: February 22, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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