All-Electric Housing for Homeless Breaks Ground in San Bernardino

by Jude Schneider
Jan 31, 2019 8:00 AM ET
There are many reasons to applaud a new housing complex in San Bernardino that is going to be all-electric and zero-net energy. For Mary’s Village, which will provide supportive housing and care for homeless men, saving money is key among them.
“Mary’s Village will be built with cutting-edge technologies, which will lead to lower utility bills for the life of the building, which will allow us to put the money back into caring for these men,” said Terry Kent, vice president of CrestWood Communities, at the recent groundbreaking for the facility. 
CrestWood is building the facility for Mary’s Mercy, a charitable organization that serves homeless populations in San Bernardino. 
Thanks to the partnership with Southern California Edison, Mary’s Village will also be “the poster child for zero-net energy in San Bernardino,” Kent said.  
“Mary’s Village is representative of what we see as the future of building in California,” said Jill Anderson, SCE vice president of Customer Programs & Services. “As an all-electric project, the construction will cost less since gas lines don’t have to be laid.”
Those gas lines would eventually be obsolete since the state of California intends to have no reliance on fossil fuels by 2045.
Mary’s Village will have electric water and space heaters, which will be partially powered by rooftop solar panels. The kitchens will also feature clean, precise induction cooktops.
SCE contributed more than $280,000 to help design and support the all-electric infrastructure. Edison International also contributed an additional $25,000 to fund vocational training at the supportive housing facility. In addition, residents will be provided with physical and mental health services and educational support.   
Mary’s Village has been in planning for many years, but permitting and funding recently came together, with a major gift from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, who have committed $7.3 million for construction.   
Mary’s Mercy hopes to complete construction in a year. Upon completion, Mary’s Village will have beds available for 85 men.