When Viola Dozier applied for the New Horizons Apartment program, she was looking for a fresh start after years of unstable housing conditions and living with family members. “I was semihomeless,” said Dozier.

Now she lives comfortably in a beautiful renovated complex in Washington Shores, a partnership effort between OUC, the City of Orlando, and Hope Church. The site was recently transformed from a vacant 58-unit complex into safe, affordable and sustainable housing.

Sustainable features include LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, low-flow water fixtures, ductless HVACs, high-efficiency water heaters and a 52 kW rooftop solar array. OUC’s renewable energy team helped with the design and planning of the revamped buildings.

Those with Low Incomes Often Have the Least Energy-Efficient Housing

OUC Commissioner Dr. Larry Mills joined Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill, and Bishop Allen Wiggins for the development’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 25, 2018. The project carries OUC’s conservation message even further within our service territory, and addresses a community need.

“Customers with the lowest incomes often live in the least energy-efficient housing,” said Dr. Mills. “We strive to serve our customers from every background, and this is just the beginning. We plan for New Horizons to serve as a template for many other opportunities moving forward.”

OUC and the City of Orlando have a goal to power Orlando with 100% renewable energy by 2050. To meet that goal, it’s crucial that all of our customers have access to sustainable options.

“This is such tremendous opportunity,” said OUC Chief Customer Officer Linda Ferrone. “To be able to lift up a part of the community like this in a way that’s environmentally sustainable is a huge step toward achieving our vision to be recognized at the best utility in the nation.”