Solar Thermal Systems Offer Low-Income Community Aid

Florida’s Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings dedicated the first “Front Porch Sunshine” installation of solar technology in Orlando’s Holden Heights Front Porch Community.

Through a program called “Front Porch Sunshine”, Florida is providing 150 solar thermal water heaters to residents in the 20 Front Porch Florida communities throughout the state. The program specifically targets low-income communities for aid. “Front Porch Sunshine protects our environment and provides aid to Florida’s underserved residents,” said Lt. Gov. Jennings. “Solar water heaters are providing these citizens with both economic and environmental benefits, improving their quality of life.” While solar photovoltaic systems often get all the attention, basic solar thermal hot water systems are more affordable and offer a quicker energy savings return. The recipients of the systems will have lower energy demands through their hot water needs and therefore lower bills. “Using solar technology provides clean energy and expands energy savings to Florida’s underserved communities,” said Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Colleen M. Castille. “By providing energy-saving opportunities to our residents, families are able to minimize their energy bills and protect Florida’s environment.” Governor Bush launched Front Porch Florida in 1999 to revitalize low-income neighborhoods. State agencies are assisting 20 designated neighborhoods with community-driven initiatives for economic growth, education and environmental preservation. Recently, the Florida Energy Office, Florida Solar Energy Center and Florida Solar Energy Research and Education Foundation established a partnership with Front Porch Florida to improve the energy efficiency of homes within designated communities.
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