The current section is

Touring St. Mary’s Senior Housing and Rising Sun’s Facilities: A Glimpse into Our Work in Oakland

Jane Elias [left], and colleagues from the Association for Energy Affordability and California Public Utilities Commission. tour Rising Sun Center for Opportunity

Jane Elias [left], and colleagues from the Association for Energy Affordability and California Public Utilities Commission tour Rising Sun Center for Opportunity. 

In August, the BayREN team, joined by staff of the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA; BayREN’s Multifamily program implementer) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), embarked on an insightful tour of some of BayREN's projects. This tour included visits to St. Mary’s Garden Affordable Senior Housing Community and the headquarters of Rising Sun Center for Opportunity (Rising Sun).

During the visit to St. Mary’s, participants gained a firsthand understanding of the remarkable improvements resulting from the building’s participation in the BayREN Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements (BAMBE) Program, which is implemented by BayREN with AEA serving as the program implementer. Building residents benefitted from multiple energy efficiency upgrades, including the installation of central and common area heat pump water heaters, pipe insulation, and common area heat pump HVAC systems. Collectively, these changes resulted in an impressive 51% reduction in energy consumption. The expertise of AEA and BayREN staff proved instrumental in assisting the building owners in capitalizing on a multitude of rebates offered by BayREN, Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH), and TECH Clean California. Jane Elias, BayREN’s Portfolio Administrator, remarked, “Observing the tangible impact of the BAMBE program at this senior living community was truly gratifying. These energy-efficient electric technology upgrades in individual apartments and common areas stand as a compelling testament to the potential for improving lives, leveraging incentives, and reducing energy costs.”

Next, the tour extended to Rising Sun, where staff presented an engaging overview of the Climate Careers initiative. This youth earn-and-learn program equips young individuals with the skills needed to enter the growing green energy sector. Through comprehensive training, participants are empowered to serve renters, seniors, and low-to-moderate income households by implementing energy-efficient measures in homes.

It’s not every day that we or staff of the CPUC are able to directly observe the tangible community impacts enabled by CPUC policy, but tours like these underscore the essential role that BayREN plays in fostering energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, and community well-being.