For over a decade, PSE’s commercial and multifamily new construction programs have supported business owners and developers with an array of financial incentives to reduce energy costs for the end-user. In 2011, we began a partnership with the developers (Bainbridge Island Holdings) and general contractor (PHC Construction) of the Grow Community on Bainbridge Island to incentivize energy-efficient construction. PSE provides incentives for better insulated walls, high-efficiency windows and water heaters, and other items.
Grow Community is already the largest planned solar community in Washington state with every single-family home and duplex in the Village powered by photovoltaics. These solar panels are connected to PSE’s power grid so surplus power is transferred onto the grid, allowing the residents to offset the cost of power drawn from PSE. Called net-metering, this allows each home to offset all of their annual electricity use with their solar energy generation, while also capturing the financial benefits that come with producing renewable energy.
Grow Community Bainbridge set lofty goals for energy efficiency and production throughout their three-phase construction process. All homes at Grow Community are certified 5 Star Built Green with current combined solar production capacity of over 300,000 kilowatt-hours per year. The total simulated energy savings (per home) for the various homes at Grow measures at or above 30 percent beyond current Washington State Energy Code.
We recently presented the developer with a rebate check of over $40,000 to help offset the costs of installing more efficient equipment.
-Aerial photo by Grow Community, other photos by Keith Brofsky