Habitat for Humanity builds homes

UniSource Energy Services and sister company Tucson Electric Power have contributed $25,000 to kick-start a fundraising effort to install solar arrays on Habitat for Humanity homes.

The new Voluntary Solar Contribution Program directs contributions to a fund managed by the Arizona Community Foundation, or ACF. The proceeds will fund systems that help Habitat for Humanity’s clients reduce their energy expenses while contributing to Arizona’s growing green energy portfolio.

“This program represents another valuable partnership with Habitat that allows us to continue to promote solar energy while reducing energy costs for families transitioning out of poverty,” said David G. Hutchens, UES’ President and Chief Executive Officer.

Funds contributed to the program will pay for system purchase, installation and five years of maintenance. Habitat for Humanity’s Arizona chapters will select installation sites and clients who satisfy its requirements regarding home ownership and “sweat equity.” Licensed, qualified solar installers will install and maintain the systems.

Donations to the program must be paid directly to the ACF, a nonprofit organization responsible for administering program funds. Anyone can contribute, and all donations to the ACF are tax-deductible. To donate, visit azfoundation.org/TEP-UES.

“Habitat Tucson is proud of our partnership with UES,” said T. VanHook, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Tucson, which builds homes in Santa Cruz County, where UES provides natural gas and electric service. “We understand how important energy efficient homes are for our low-income partners. UES’ Voluntary Solar Contribution Program adds a wonderful new dimension to the standards we use in our homes by incorporating renewable energy.”