In 2015, maintenance issues began appearing at our Sage Lane homes in San Geronimo. The property was breaking even and the reserve fund for maintenance was limited. SGVAHA Board Co-Vice Chair Kit Krauss and Property Manager Denise Bohman put their heads together to develop a plan to complete all needed updates and lower operating costs by converting our Sage Lane homes to solar power. Their plan was ambitious: go all electric (kicking fossil fuels to the curb) and install enough solar generation capacity to cover all electricity costs.

Today, with help from CDBG funds, a Marin Housing Authority Rehabilitation Loan, rebates from Marin Community Energy and the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative and the hard work and dedication of Kit and Denise, all stoves and dryers at Sage Lane have been replaced with efficient electric units powered by a 20 KW solar system.

The final pieces, electric heat pump water heaters and electric heat pump HVAC systems are expected in 2020 with rebates from Marin Clean Energy and a grant from the Measure W Fund for Community Housing.

Utility cost savings will be approximately $6,000 a year, which will go into a replacement reserve fund for future maintenance needs.

“Our Sage Lane homes will be an example of self-sustaining, community-owned, permanently affordable housing, which is also as ‘green’ as possible.” Kit says.