Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation’s largest provider of cleaner electricity, and Houston Habitat for Humanity are teaming up to support clean, Renewable Energy in Houston by installing a 1.2 kWh solar array on the roof of a recently completed Habitat for Humanity home in Houston.Houston, Texas – May 12, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The home, which is located in the Wood Glen subdivision in Northeast Houston, was funded and built by the graduating class of St. John’s High School in River Oaks as their senior class project. The home was built thanks to the efforts of 18-year old senior Annie Criner and her graduating class at St. John’s High School. Criner spearheaded the project, challenging fellow classmates to raise the needed US$50,000 and build the home. The Omar family, who immigrated to Houston in September 1997 from Somalia, will live in the new Habitat Home in mid to late June. The Omars were forced to find work and support nine children — seven of their own and two they adopted after Mr. Omar’s brother died. “The Omars’ experience is really an amazing story,” said Criner. “But what’s more amazing is that they all came out and pitched in on the project.” The solar array, installed on the house thanks to Green Mountain Energy Company, is a first for Houston Habitat for Humanity. The Solar Array Habitat home is the first step in an ongoing partnership between Houston Habitat for Humanity and Green Mountain Energy Company. The two organizations hope to help raise continuing awareness about Renewable Energy and its benefits in addition to making a positive contribution to the Houston community. Plans include supporting enough 100 percent pollution free generation to offset electricity at construction sites for new Habitat homes in addition to exploring other opportunities to install solar arrays. “We feel this is a great partnership,” said Milby Hart, executive director at Houston Habitat for Humanity. “It’s exciting to be a part of the first solar Habitat Home in Houston. This creates a genuine opportunity to continue building homes in the Houston area while giving new homeowners a way reduce their impact on the environment. It is clearly a win-win situation for Habitat and Houstonians.” The 1.2 kWh solar array will offset about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, annually. That’s as much CO2 as a car makes in 2,300 miles. It would take 140 trees an entire year to remove this much CO2 from the air. The array will also help the new Habitat family save a little bit on their electricity bill each year. “This is a perfect opportunity for us to continue our education campaign in Texas around less-polluting electricity and its benefits while giving something back to the community,” said John Savage, president of the Texas region for Green Mountain Energy Company. “We are looking forward to our continued relationship with the Habitat for Humanity organization as we work toward our mission to change the way power is made.” Green Mountain Energy Company will recognize Annie Criner for her efforts at the KRBE/Green Mountain Energy Earth Day Festival taking place on May 24th at Eleanor Tinsley Park. Green Mountain Energy Company has been offering 100 percent pollution-free electricity products in Texas since April of 2001, and Houstonians have been extremely receptive to choosing clean electricity. Houston Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit, ecumenical housing mission, is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing in the City of Houston by helping low-income families earn a simple, decent home in which to live and raise their children. The organization has built over 400 homes in partnership with low-income families since 1987. Homes are sold to families at cost and with a zero-interest mortgage. Houston Habitat for Humanity is not a United Way agency, does not accept government funds for construction and does not receive financial support from Habitat for Humanity International.