Green Mountain Energy Company Donates $20,000 Solar Array to Habitat for Humanity Rice Centennial House

This is the first ever Houston Habitat House designed solely by students with a solar array design element

Check presentation at Houston Habitat for Humanity build day

Houston, TX, April 2012 : In conjunction with Earth Month and in celebration of Rice University’s 100th anniversary, Green Mountain Energy Company proudly presents a check in the amount of $20,000 to the Houston Habitat for Humanity Rice Centennial House for a solar installation. The Centennial House is a Houston Habitat for Humanity home designed and built by Rice University students and will be provided to a deserving local family later this year. The donation is made possible through Green Mountain EnergyTM Sun ClubTM, a program where customer contributions provide solar-powered installations for non-profit organizations.
The house, designed with a focus on energy-efficiency, is being built by volunteers over ten build dates in March and April 2012. The Rice Centennial House Project allows Rice faculty, staff, alumni, students and community members to contribute to the university’s enduring legacy of service. Green Mountain’s donation of a solar array adds another element of sustainability to this environmentally-friendly home.
“We wanted the house to be sustainable for the long term, so we created a design around a solar array that would provide a renewable, affordable source of electricity,” said Tawfik Jarjour, a Senior at Rice University, and Director of the Centennial House Project. “This is the first Houston Habitat house built with solar array as a key design element, let alone one designed and built by students, which is something that makes us really proud.”
The solar panels will be situated at an optimum angle to allow them to pick up the most sunlight possible. Following the build, the students are donating usage of the blueprints of the house to Habitat so that future homes can follow this same concept.
In addition to the check presentation, Green Mountain employees participated in one of the Habitat Build Days, working alongside students and other community members constructing the home.
“The Centennial House is such an incredible gift to the Houston community and we’re proud to contribute to this effort,” said Helen Brauner, senior vice president, Marketing and Strategic Planning, Green Mountain Energy Company. “As a Rice Alumna, I’m especially proud to be here working alongside my fellow Owls and Green Mountain colleagues to help build the Centennial House today.”
Celebrate Earth Month in Houston
Earth Day takes place every year on April 22, but why celebrate just one day? Earth Day has turned into a month-long celebration where people all over the world attend events, participate in helping the Earth, and put the environment’s well-being at the top of their priority lists. Many communities across the world come together through different conservation methods including planting trees, recycling and providing educational material on sustainability.
Celebrate Earth Month throughout April at the local events listed below. While there, make sure to stop by the Green Mountain table to learn more about bringing renewable energy to your home or business. Whether you attend one, a few, or all of the events, you are sure to have a great time and learn more about reducing your carbon footprint!
Houston events

  •     DCAC Fitness Convention (4/12-4/14)
  •     Houston Home and Garden Show (4/ 13 – 4/15)
  •     Houston Pet Expo (4/14)
  •     Galveston Grand Kids Festival (4/14)
  •     Texas Crawfish & Music Festival (4/20 -22, 4/27-29)
  •     Epicurean Evening (4/21)
  •     Houston International Festival (4/21-22, 28-29)

About the Rice Centennial House
The Rice Centennial House is being built in the Fifth Ward of Houston. The 1,300 square foot house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a combined living room and kitchen space. The house will also boast front and back porches and a garage.
For more information on the Rice Centennial House or to view virtual images of the house, visit

About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 with the mission to provide simple, decent affordable housing for all. In the United States alone, 95 million people have housing problems including unattainable housing payments, overcrowding, poor quality shelter and homelessness. Through the work of Habitat, thousands of low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing. Churches, community groups and others have joined together to successfully tackle this significant social problem. Today, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 500,000 houses, sheltering 2.5 million people worldwide.
Houston Habitat for Humanity has built more than 880 homes in the area since the affiliate was established in 1987. Rice Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit student organization, which works toward Habitat’s goal of eliminating inadequate housing. It was founded in the early 1990's and has been very active ever since, with our group fundraising for and building its own homes in 1997, 2000, and 2001.
For more information on Habitat for Humanity and how you can help provide housing for deserving families, visit

Green Mountain EnergyTM Sun ClubTM
Green Mountain EnergyTM Sun ClubTM is a program where Green Mountain residential customers have the opportunity to give back to deserving non-profit organizations through the promotion of solar power. Direct monthly contributions from customers go toward the funding of solar installations. Since the program’s founding in 2002, Sun Club members have helped install almost 500kW of solar power, preventing over 3.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That equals 3.6 million miles not driven or 8.1 million aluminum cans recycled. For more information, visit

Green Mountain Energy Company
Green Mountain, the nation’s leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, was founded in 1997 to “change the way power is made.” The company is the longest serving green power marketer in the U.S. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, such as wind, as well as a variety of carbon offset products. Green Mountain’s largest customer is the “world’s most famous office building,” the Empire State Building in New York City. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 14.8 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. As a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG), Green Mountain is backed by one of the nation’s largest renewable power producers. For more information, visit

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