Community Investment Strategies Takes the Solar Power Plunge

Community Investment Strategies Takes the Solar Power Plunge

Solar Energy Project Completed at Three Senior Apartment Communities

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – December 15, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc., the developer, builder and property manager of market-rate and affordable apartment-rental communities throughout New Jersey, has adopted solar-powered energy at three of its’ apartment complexes: Rosegate, Heritage Village at Elizabeth, and Heritage Village at Manalapan. All three senior communities have been retrofitted with photovoltaic solar panels to collect energy for the buildings’ common areas.

In Rahway, 627 solar panels have been mounted on the south-facing roof of the Rosegate apartment building, producing 144,290 kWh of electricity. The generation of clean, affordable energy will translate into savings for CIS, reducing energy costs by as much as 35 percent, according to Matthew Alestra, a partner with Future Solutions in Yardville, N.J., and project consultant.

Heritage Village at Elizabeth is also reaping the bright benefits of solar energy with 390 solar panels, producing 89,700 kWh of electricity. While on the glassy roof of Heritage Village at Manalapan, 627 solar panels are producing 144,290 kWh of electricity.

These projects are intended to reduce utility costs through energy efficiency, explained Mark Issa, president of CIS Construction LLC. “Buildings are long-term investments, which makes the solar option for offsetting common area electric consumption much more attractive.” CIS’ roof-top solar panels support the electrical load in areas where lighting, air conditioning and heating are required.

Going Green Saves Green “The cost savings resulting from the lower energy bills will be used to reduce the operating costs that each property incurs,” said Issa. “Our operating costs are constantly increasing and our goal is to maintain the high standard of living enjoyed by our residents.” CIS communities offer residents energy-efficient apartments along with a host of comfort-enhancing modern amenities, including community rooms, fitness centers, health and wellness centers, computer centers, libraries, and laundry facilities.

As a solar installer, Alestra explains that interest from commercial and residential customers is growing throughout the region. Savings from solar panels can be immediate and long-term, particularly when taking advantage of tax credits and state incentive programs. Alestra also works with investors who are willing to finance the cost of the panels making it easy for companies and homeowners to realize the benefits of solar without any up-front costs.

CIS has adopted green building practices, creating energy-efficient multi-family projects that consume less electricity than regular dwellings. “CIS’ goal is to build environmentally friendly buildings, which are energy efficient,” added Issa. “We have numerous projects in our pipeline that will include green features such as the use of rooftop solar.” Specifically, CIS has two housing projects in the development stage known as the Oaks at Westminster, and Westminster Heights.

Both projects are located in Elizabeth and will incorporate the use of Energy Star appliances and roof-mounted solar systems.

CIS is a certified, woman-owned real estate company specializing in the development, construction and management of multi-family housing. In addition to senior housing, the company’s communities include mixed-use redevelopments as well as market-rate and affordable housing.

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Christine Ziomek / (201) 796-7788 / chris (at) caryl (dot) com / @carylcomm

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