Promise Energy Installs Largest Solar Water Heating System in City of Norwalk

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Promise Energy installs the largest solar water heating system in the City of Norwalk in Los Angeles County. Situated atop the tallest building in the area, this system is visible for miles and provides clean renewable heat for hundreds of low-income senior residents in Southern California.

Norwalk Tower's Solar Hot Water System

With the help of the solar water heating system by Promise Energy, the building now performs nearly 23.5% better than it did before.

On Wednesday, March 26th, Promise Energy celebrated the installation of the largest solar water heating system in the City of Norwalk at the grand opening of the iconic Norwalk Tower, an 11-story 185-unit affordable housing retrofit project.

Developed by Preservation Partners Development (PPD) & Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO), the renovation was completed by Santa Monica based Construction company ICON Builders. Norwalk Tower provides an affordable home for a community of Asian-American seniors, many who have lived in the building for 10 years or more. The building’s retrofit was funded by Low-Income Housing Tax Credits along with a loan from the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).

Kelly Sands, President of ICON Builders said, "I think we're most proud of the fact that the owners allowed us to do a beautiful improvement to the exterior shell. You can clearly see the difference, and the solar water heating system by Promise Energy is a remarkable feature. It's visible for miles around, and increases the aesthetics of the building with its unique appearance.”

Carin Schmidt, Development Partner at Preservation Partners Development noted, “At the Norwalk Tower project we successfully transformed the property to enhance livability and sustainability for the residents and building for years to come. To meet our financing requirements, we had promised a 20% improvement over current energy use, and we actually exceeded that goal. With the help of the solar water heating system by Promise Energy, the building now performs nearly 23.5% better than it did before.”

At 36 collectors, this system is capable of heating thousands of gallons of water per day and will offset 26.5 metric tons (56,000 pounds) of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 656 tree saplings grown for 10 years.

Jonas Villalba, VP of Project Development for Promise Energy was the system's designer. "This project was particularly challenging because it's mounted on top of an 11-story residential tower. We completed an extensive structural calculation package and utilized strategic placement of the solar storage tanks when designing the array. The result is an iconic solar water heating system that is one of the highest in Southern California. It is a prominent symbol of sustainability that is visible from both the 5 and 605 freeways."

Innovative Housing Opportunities CEO, Pat Whitaker said, "IHO works collaboratively with strategic partners to increase our impact in the communities in which we serve. It is critical to use energy efficiently so that we maintain affordability in our communities. Innovative Housing’s Board of Directors has taken action to improve our energy performance throughout our portfolio, and we are proud to have the largest solar water heating system in the city of Norwalk.”

Adam Boucher, Founder and CEO of Promise Energy added, "This system really accomplishes a lot for the project. In a single measure we were able to reduce the energy consumption of the entire building by over 7%. We helped the project meet funding requirements for energy efficiency, and we're reducing long-term energy costs for the seniors who live here."

About Promise Energy:

Promise Energy Inc, is a full-service solar solutions provider, delivering integrated financing, design and installation for multifamily and commercial projects throughout California and the Western United States. Promise Energy partners with building owners and residents to save energy, and reduce operating expenses with solar water heating and solar photovoltaics. The company is currently working on solar for over 1000 units of affordable housing across Southern California, as well as other market-rate and commercial projects. To find out more, contact us at

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Andy Mannle
since: 04/2012
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