Nonprofit Partnership Provides Low-Cost Solar Power for Multifamily Affordable Housing in New York City

Nazareth Housing Lower East Side shelter is first to adopt reduced-cost solar with zero-down financing

New York, NY, December 15, 2016 - Solar One, GRID Alternatives Tri-State and Co-op Power today announced the launch of Affordable Solar New York. The nonprofit initiative will bring low- cost solar power to affordable housing providers in New York, which provide critical housing and services to low-income residents. Solar can significantly reduce energy costs for both operators and tenants, yet up-front costs, credit scores and complex financing remain significant barriers for this sector to access the technology.

Affordable Solar New York will address these barriers by providing no-cost technical assistance, reduced-cost installation and zero-down financing options to Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperatives and other affordable housing providers in New York City. Projects will include both job training and energy efficiency education opportunities for residents.

"To reach Mayor de Blasio’s landmark OneNYC vision for a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient New York City, all New Yorkers will need the ability to tap into the cost and energy saving benefits that solar energy can provide," said Mark Chambers, Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “I applaud Solar One, GRID Alternatives, and Co-op Power on the launch of Affordable Solar New York, an important step toward a more inclusive energy landscape in New York City.”

Affordable Solar New York’s inaugural project is with Nazareth Housing, a supportive housing organization that serves vulnerable New Yorkers on the Lower East Side and promotes housing stability and economic independence among low-income families and individuals in New York City. Solar One and GRID Alternatives provided technical assistance for the project, which will be installed by GRID Alternatives in early 2017 through its unique workforce development model, and financed through Co-op Power’s innovative financing. The solar electric system will provide more than 80% of the building’s annual common area electricity and is projected to save the organization 30% on its overall electricity costs over the system’s 25 year life, savings that will allow Nazareth Housing to better serve its constituents.

"For nearly 35 years, Nazareth Housing has creatively endeavored to develop sustainable, affordable housing in the Lower East Side and the Bronx,” said Michael Callaghan, Executive Director of Nazareth Housing. “I am truly pleased that our building will be the inaugural solar project of Affordable Solar New York. Being in a flood zone that was significantly impacted by

superstorm Sandy, solar capacity brings environmental and fiscal benefits, while also helping us build resiliency for the future."

Through Affordable Solar New York, the partners plan to develop and install a number of multifamily affordable solar projects in 2017 and facilitate dozens more through technical assistance. The initiative dovetails with new state funding for low-income solar announced last week by Governor Cuomo, which could further reduce costs for housing providers.

Affordable housing providers and Housing Development Fund cooperatives interested in solar technical assistance can visit to get started.

Affordable Solar New York is made possible by The JPB Foundation through its support of GRID Alternatives’ multifamily program, and The Kresge Foundation, The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, Rosin Fund of The Scherman Foundation, and The Mertz Gilmore Foundation for their generous support of Solar One. Nazareth Housing was connected with Affordable Solar New York through Solarize LES, a community campaign supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

About the Partners

Solar One, a leading environmental nonprofit organization in New York City, was founded in 2004 and runs diverse programming including K-12 environmental education, green workforce training and technical assistance programs that help building owners adopt clean energy solutions. Here Comes Solar is Solar One’s program that facilitates solar adoption in hard-to- serve markets by assisting building owners to identify and implement cost-effective solar projects. Since 2014 Here Comes Solar has helped more than 100 NYC buildings adopt solar.

GRID Alternatives Tri-State is an affiliate of GRID Alternatives, America’s largest nonprofit solar installer bringing clean energy technology and job training to underserved communities. GRID has installed more than 8,000 solar electric systems for affordable single- and multifamily homes to-date, and trained over 29,000 people. GRID Alternatives Tri-State serves New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Co-op Power is a consumer-owned energy cooperative with multi-race, multi-class membership across New England and New York dedicated to creating a just and sustainable future through local ownership of energy resources. They have financed a number of large renewable energy projects throughout the Northeast and are committed to expanding access to renewable energy among affordable and cooperative housing.


Noah Ginsburg, Solar One 347-509-6044,

Michael Moomjy, GRID Alternatives 212-549-3996,

Isaac Baker, Co-op Power 413-522-9981,

Six Foundations for Building Community Resilience

Post Carbon Institute Report by Daniel Lerch

Efforts to build community resilience often focus on growing the capacity to “bounce back” from disruptions, like those caused by climate change. But climate change is not the only crisis we face, nor is preparing for disruption the only way to build resilience. Truly robust community resilience should do more. It should engage and benefit all community members, and consider all the challenges the community faces—from rising sea levels to a lack of living wage jobs. And it should be grounded in resilience science, which tells us how complex systems—like human communities—can adapt and persist through changing circumstances. Six Foundations for Building Community Resilience describes how communities can approach the full scope of the 21st century’s challenges equitably and sustainably.

Co-op Power - One of the 25 Enterprises that Build Community Resilience featured in Transition Network report

The Transition US REconomy Project features Co-op Power as one of the "25 Enterprises that Build Community Resilience."

All 25 enterprises featured in the report were nominated by the public and then vetted by a team of expert reviewers using a set of criteria that was developed by Transition Network (criteria can be found on page 15 of the report).

Solar Cookers: a New Member Benefit

One pleasurable and simple way to move your life away from fossil fuels is with solar cooking. The fuel is always free and renewable! Solar cookers come in many sizes and designs, but we've selected two of the best for members to enjoy at discounted rates (up to 20% off). Each of these companies has an extensive program to distribute these stoves in energy-poor regions of the world, so sales of their cookers here supports their work to prevent illnesses and deaths due to smoke inhalation (and also protects forests) there. Learn more and find out how to get your discount at our Solar Cooking page.

35% Off Stiebel Eltron Solar Products and More

Now is a great time to join Co-op Power because members can enjoy a 35% discount on Stiebel products from now until June 20th! Stiebel makes top quality solar hot water collectors, tankless water heaters, solar system controllers and line sets, heat pump water heaters, and more. See the full catalog here. You can buy and install the equipment yourself, hire a licensed technician you've worked with before to do the job, or work with one of our suggested installers. It's up to you!

Members normally enjoy a 25% discount on Stiebel products (and non-members can order equipment via us for 15% off). The lifetime membership rate of $975 can easily be recouped with one order, opening the door to many benefits like discounts on other products and services, a stake in the many renewable energy businesses that the co-op owns or co-owns (like Northeast Biodiesel and community shared solar arrays), and a say in how this effort toward freedom from fossil fuels develops over time. See full details on membership here, and go here to see what folks are saying about membership.

The membership rate for farmers is $750, and limited income folks earning less than $30,000/year and having assets of less than $25,000 (excluding a home) can join for just $500. A flexible payment plan is also available.

Join today and begin enjoying all the benefits of membership! If you're already a member and ready to order Stiebel products, please contact Junio to get started at 413-772-8898 or