Solar and affordable housing

BRINGING SAVINGS TO WHERE IT’S MOST NEEDED

Solar drives savings for low-income residents 

Nicholas Papaefthimiou is a Portland-based architect and general contractor who has added solar to his low-income housing properties and passes the electricity savings back to the renters.

Nicholas and his company infillPDX believe that development can provide superior housing opportunities for low-income residents. In partnership with local agencies like JOIN and Central City Concern, his firm retains and manages a portfolio of houses and ADU’s as housing targeted for individuals and families transitioning out of houselessness.

Watch the videos below to learn more about his unique perspective on developing affordable housing projects or jump down to watch the full interview.

A new approach to affordable housing

Nicholas believes affordable housing should be financially rewarding to the the tenants and the building owners.

We have a responsibility to use our healthiest materials and most sustainable strategies to provide housing for these people.

Solar and low-income housing

Helping low-income tenants save money on their utilities means that the agencies providing assistance to them will also save money.

Solar power production represented a way to get money back into the tenant’s pockets.

Solar monitoring as a teaching tool

Nicholas help a mom and her kids understand the home’s energy production and consumption by showing them the solar monitoring app.

I was able to sit down with them and go over their energy usage…her children participated which was a really powerful experience.

How to select a solar contractor

Do your homework when selecting a contractor, including considering their company values. It isn’t about the lowest cost.

The fact that you were a benefit corporation really reassured me that your values really aligned with what we were trying to do.

The future of renewable energy design

Solar panels, battery storage, and energy efficiencies all play a role, as well as microgrids and community solar.

I see (solar) being the primary driver of this new green economy.

The need for low-interest financing

The industry need a scalable way to do green investment in order for renewable energy to really take hold.

If solar is going to gain more widespread use and pencil for more people, then there needs to be a low-interest loan.

Watch the full interview