Community Services Consortium

Serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties in Oregon. Helping people. Changing lives.

Friday, October 12, 2012

CSC Saves Low-Income Residents Money While Supporting the Local Economy

Thanks to Community Services Consortium (CSC), both low-income residents and local businesses are benefitting from green technology installations in Corvallis, Albany, and Newport. The design and installation of 282 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays were made possible through CSC’s Sustainable Energy Resources for Consumers Program (SERC).

Solar PV panels at Community Outreach, Inc. in Corvallis
Between July 2011 and March 2012, solar PV panels were installed in 10 single-family residences and three multi-family buildings. The multi-family buildings include Samaritan Village, an 82-unit senior living facility located in Corvallis; Pelican Place, a 12-unit building housing domestic abuse victims and the homeless in Newport; and Albany Helping Hands, a homeless shelter in Albany.

The solar PV systems are grid-connected, non-battery systems, which is the least expensive option to install. The system is connected to the electric provider, so any excess energy can be sold back to the provider in the form of credits or sent to Oregon HEAT, a local energy assistance program.

All labor for the projects was sourced in Oregon. Five separate Oregon solar companies were employed, and twice that many in electrical and mechanical subcontractors.

Workers install solar PV panels at Albany Helping Hands
All solar modules, inverters, and balance of systems were either made in America or Oregon. Some Oregon manufacturers used include SolarWorld and Sharp for solar modules, and Advanced Energy for inverters. More than $1 million was spent on labor and materials for the projects, which has provided a great boost for Oregon businesses. 

The SERC program, an extension of the CSC’s Weatherization Department, provides renewable energy measures to reduce electricity expenses to agencies serving people who are at 200% or below the poverty threshold.

CSC’s Weatherization Assistance Program accompanies SERC by providing energy audits and applied energy saving measures to improve local energy savings. Energy conservation and efficiency measures ensure that the solar electric renewable energy measure yields maximum energy savings.

The US Department of Energy funds the SERC program. They, along with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provided $90 million nationwide ($7 million to Oregon) for SERC projects. CSC was one of just five agencies to receive funds from Oregon Housing and Community Services based on our outstanding record of service.

2012 Resource Jam of Linn County

The third annual Resource Jam of Linn County was held on October 10, 2012 at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. Sponsored by Community Services Consortium (CSC), this annual event brings together social service providers from all over the county to hear about programs each organization has to offer low-income residents of Linn County.

Presentations were made by 16 different agencies and organizations, including speakers representing different CSC departments. The aim is to let providers know what other services are being offered in the county so that they can direct their clients to the right resources. Tables were set up for each organization to provide brochures, posters, business cards and other printed materials for attendees to pick up and share with co-workers. A total of 66 people were in attendance, representing 29 local agencies and organizations. The event was very well received and will continue as an annual event. 

If your organization would like to participate in next year’s Resource Jam, contact Dina Eldridge at CSC: 541-928-6335, ext. 324 or

Welcome to CSC's blog and e-newsletter!

These communications tools can be used to make announcements, acknowledge donors and volunteers, post videos and slideshows–whatever we want to share with our online community.

There are 3 ways to deliver info to stakeholders:

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If you have agency/program information you'd like posted on this blog, please send full text and/or photos and videos, ideas, or suggestions to Janet Hessel and she will take the next steps.