Saturday, December 20, 2008

Get Your Green On - Proactive Renewable Energy Project in Santa Clarita Valley, CA

Given the recent developments on the world stage with Go Green new building efforts, I am hopeful moving forward that newer communities will be built from the 'ground-up' to get the most from the 'sky-down'. (Sun, wind, rain water, smart-plants, digital sprinkler sensors, etc.)
See my past Blog entry:LEEDing the Way in Green Real Estate

But what about where we live now? I feel the arena of retrofitting communities to keep existing developments marketable are not being addressed.Smart-growth must include new development but also must anticipate future eco-retrofit standards on existing communities.

Are we really that far away from renewable energy mandated standard?
"Pay highly for what you take": A home may only take x amount of energy from the power grid, or pay a premium price. OR perhaps..."Pay highly for what you don't give": A home must generate y amount of renewable energy, or be charged a premium price.

This project is taking the proactive approach to the 'new' energy-efficiency. How else can an older home compete with the higher energy efficient 2012 model homes where energy bills are less and water usage for yards is cut in half? (okay I am really hopeful, but think about it, not too far off from the mark with the technology available)
See my past Blog entry: Is Solar the New Granite?

Share your thoughts... anyone have insights into what is coming up in Los Angeles County or Sacramento?

Enjoy the day!
Leah Pollack
Elite Professionals Real Estate Services, Inc.

SCV off the grid through HOAs - In the Signal!

The team is extremely grateful to Steve Kassel for his December 17, 2008 Letter to the Editor of The Signal.

Steve's letter includes:

"... follow conservation energy-modernization projects that get us off our addiction to oil, curtail the crimes that emanate from that industry and get us off the power grid that brought us financial disasters like the Enron/Ken Lay affair. ...

...Why not assert our votes with our HOAs to get bulk bids at low prices for solar panels that can sit atop our roofs or on the common-area hillsides or other unused lots that face sunlight exposure? ...

...Local contractors ought be used, thereby stimulating the local economy..."

Great Work Steve!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa Clarita Valley Starting with One Solar Panel

On November 18, 2008, a letter was sent to several Santa Clarita Valley Homeowners Associations, Community leaders, Business leaders and other Project oriented team members requesting that the HOAs please take the steps necessary to start a discussion into renewable energy sources. This initial letter included a recommendation to consider to install one solar panel on an HOA's community building within the coverage area of the association.
See Initial Letter Here

With the recent extension of the tax benefits for implementing solar by businesses as well as homeowners, we believe that this effort will more than pay for itself with energy savings as well as make this community more desirable in the future. Rising fees for energy to maintain sprinklers, security lighting, air conditioning and heat of the facilities are of the utmost importance and this will allow our community to do something about it.

Homeowner funds should be used to enhance our community while lowering costs to our association today and into future years. By our actions we can demonstrate our commitment and set a great example to our members and community. Our community as a whole can express their participation in this beneficial effort.

Team, we welcome your participation and will keep you posted as progress develops!

The Get off the Grid Blog of Santa Clarita Valley

Welcome! Do you remember 'Rolling Blackouts? How about sudden 'brown-outs"? Do you remember when the concerns over the Power Grid were so alarming? Were you one of the folks that bought a whole-house generator with an Uninteruppted Power Supply Solution? Well... What if your community was 'off the grid'? Could an area generate enough renewable energy to be self-sustaining and lessen if not remove its dependence off the Power Grid? Could an ENTIRE VALLEY?

You may have looked into renewable energy yourself. Many individuals have. Some in our community have installed solar panels (btw- thank you! - I hope we can chat and gain insights from your experience). To some the cost to an individual is relatively high. But what if you and the folks on your street wanted to go in and purchase solar panels? What if a tract decided? An HOA? 2-5 HOAs? 10-30 HOAs? What about apartment/townhome complexes? What about retail centers, malls, the ENTIRE CITY including residential & commercial, private & public owned buildings?

Okay - we are enthusiastic about the possiblity to achieve our result. And we plan to have a lot of fun uncovering the steps to take, the resources we will need, the qualifying incentive programs, realizing the potential of public/private partnerships and of course discovering other eco-chic ways to make this a community project one where YOU can participate.

We consider this a good forum to post our Project Progress as well as get your input. The first few posts will bring us up to speed on what has happened so far. Moving forward we will post announcements, meeting notes, project happenings and next steps where YOU can get involved.

As always we are looking for your input. This is an organic process and we are continuously improving to make Santa Clarita Valley a better and more energy-efficient place to work, live and play!

So stay tuned :-)