Detroit homeowner Karl Schachter has always been interested in solar energy, but the cost of the expensive installation always made the switch feel out of reach. It didn’t seem feasible until Schachter’s neighbor Tammy Black reached out to him about an affordable solar panel option, which was through the grassroots organization Community Treehouse Center Detroit and the company Global Treehouse Initiative 2, both led by Black.

Schachter, 72, has now been using a hybrid solar power system for two years. He provides space for his friends to live with him. They are all on fixed incomes, so the solar energy installation has created a positive impact, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“It has a pretty big offset on the electric part of our utility bill,” Schachter said. “This is judging from several bills that we’ve been given in the past that we are saving anywhere between $25 and $35 a month on electricity.” The Community Treehouse Center Detroit was created to assist residents like Schachter help the environment and have access to solar power energy, which lowers gas and electric bills for Detroit residents. The project is led by Black, who was inspired by the Pete Nelson Treehouse Project that creates solar-powered community centers.

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