Campaign launches to enroll NYC affordable housing residents, including Baisley Park Gardens in Jamaica, in community solar

File photo by Willie Davis/Con Edison

A global investment company has launched a campaign to enroll NYC affordable housing residents into community solar.

The clean energy technology platform and solar servicer Perch Energy has partnered with the global investment manager Nuveen to offer thousands of low-and-moderate income NYC residents of properties owned by Nuveen access to community solar and electricity bill discounts.

Those who sign up for community solar are expected to save up to 20% on their monthly electricity bills.

This initiative also means cost savings from community spaces can be reinvested into more environmental performance projects across Nuveen’s more than 15,000 affordable housing units in New York City. Such projects include LED lighting replacements and low-flow fixtures.

“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Nuveen to deliver thousands of New Yorkers access to significant cost savings on a major expense like their electricity bill,” Perch Energy CEO Bruce Stewart said. “This effort will bring at least one bill down for working families, especially at a time when the cost of everything else is rising. Community solar is making good on the promise that solar can benefit everyone, including renters and not just those with the resources to install solar panels on their roof.”

Launched on Tuesday, July 9, the campaign has already enrolled approximately 5,000 New York City residents across 1,700 units at seven properties owned by Nuveen through special events and lease renewals. This includes Baisley Park Gardens in Jamaica, located at 125-30 and 125-60 Sutphin Blvd.

“We are excited to bring community solar and meaningful savings to Nuveen’s affordable housing residents in NYC,” Nuveen PE Impact Managing Director Radhika Shroff said. “Our investment in Perch is emblematic of our focus on investing in companies that can leverage the broader Nuveen platform to drive an equitable transition to a low carbon economy.”

This campaign to bring more clean energy to the Big Apple can be traced back to October 2023, when Nuveen’s Private Equity Impact team committed $30 million to Perch. Since this investment, the team has worked closely with the affordable housing team at Nuveen and Perch to develop a strategy to bring community solar to low-income homes.

“As a firm dedicated to environmental stewardship and social responsibility, Nuveen is excited to partner with Perch Energy to bring the benefits of community solar to our residents, including reducing monthly electricity bills, freeing up those funds for other necessities,” said Jason Acosta, Head of U.S. Asset Management – Impact Investing at Nuveen Real Estate. “This initiative not only elevates the lives of residents at our affordable housing developments but will enhance the breadth of sustainability initiatives across the investment portfolio.”

In New York City alone, Perch’s new community solar capacity has jumped 133% since 2021. With more than 150 solar farms across the country, Perch views this New York City campaign as the first step towards bringing cheaper electric bills to affordable housing residents and renters in each state through community solar markets.

The investment manager of TIAA, Nuveen offers its clients a comprehensive range of investment solutions meant to help individual and institution investors achieve their long-term financial goals. Nuveen’s investment specialists offer their expertise through a wide variety of strategies.

Founded in 2021, Perch Energy is a community solar servicer. They have helped homeowners, businesses and renters save more than $30 million cumulatively in total energy discounts. Perch Energy is the largest pure-play community solar servicer in the United States.