- Green Mountain Energy Sun Club has installed an 85-kilowatt rooftop solar system to cover 70% Houston Furniture Bank’s annual electricity needs, supporting the mission of Making Empty Houses Homes!
- The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club has provided over 10 million dollars in sustainability grants to nonprofit organizations since 2002. Apply here!
- For 29 years, Houston Furniture Bank has proven that what is good for the environment is also good for the people who live in that environment, redistributing gently-used furniture to over 100,000 individuals and recycling over 120,000 mattresses!
- We hosted a “Flip the Switch” event to celebrate with an impressive list of speakers and a new mural to mark the occasion!
- Lara Cottingham, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Houston highlighted how Houston Furniture Bank’s green initiatives are helping to achieve the goals of the City of Houston’s Climate Action Plan.
On Tuesday, March 30th at 11 am, Houston Furniture Bank and Green Mountain Energy Sun Club celebrated the completion of a new solar array with the inauguration of a new mural at the Mattress Recycling Center entrance. Green Mountain Energy Sun Club donated nearly $170,000 to install 85.47 kW of solar panels on Houston Furniture Bank’s rooftop. A total of 223 solar panels are expected to cover 70% of the annual electricity needs for the Houston Furniture Bank’s 8220 Mosley Rd. location, preventing more than 186,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) on an annual basis, which is equivalent to nearly 300,000 miles not driven each year. Over the lifetime of the panels, energy savings to the nonprofit are projected to equal the value of providing assistance to over 1,800 children through our No Kids on the Floor program.
To mark the occasion, Houston Furniture Bank hosted a “Flip the Switch” event with an impressive list of speakers, including Rachel Powers, executive director of the Citizen’s Environmental Council, Lara Cottingham, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Houston, Councilman Robert Gallegos, and Stacy Mehlhoff, executive director of the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. In celebration, the group “flipped” the ceremonial switch on the solar array and dedicated a mural at the entrance of Houston Furniture Bank’s Mattress Recycling Center.
To create the mural, Houston Furniture Bank reached out to Veronica “Roni” Cabrera, an artist and community leader who is based in Eastex Jensen Houston. The commissioned piece adorning the organization’s Mattress Recycling Center will act as a thank-you to Houstonians, whose sustained gifts allow Houston Furniture Bank to grow its No Kids on the Floor program to create a healthy living environment where no child sleeps on the floor. The new colorful and vibrant mural, “A World of Good”, will welcome mattress donors and highlight the organization’s commitment to sustainability, from mattress recycling to connecting families in need with gently-used furniture to minimizing their carbon footprint, thanks to the solar energy panels provided by the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club.
“One of our goals from the beginning when we first opened our doors almost 30 years ago now has been to be a socially-responsible, environmentally sustainable organization that could meet the needs of the growing region. Partnerships like this have supported our growth over time and will continue to help us expand our impact well into the future,” said Oli Mohammed, executive director of the Houston Furniture Bank. “We are incredibly grateful to the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club for believing in our work and investing in our mission. This is the beginning of another great relationship for the Houston Furniture Bank with a responsible corporate citizen.”
Green Mountain Energy, the nation’s longest-serving renewable energy retailer, founded Sun Club in 2002 to help a growing number of nonprofits looking to install solar panels and reduce their environmental footprint as a way to expand their focus to larger sustainability issues. Thanks to donations from customers, employees, and Green Mountain Energy, Sun Club has awarded $10 million in grants for nonprofits committed to implementing sustainability projects promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and environmental stewardship.
“Sun Club grants allow Green Mountain Energy to advance our sustainability leadership in Texas, and we are proud to work with the Houston Furniture Bank, whose flagship mattress-recycling program is a great example of using sustainability to benefit the community,” said Mark Parsons, vice president, and general manager of Green Mountain Energy. “The new solar array will support their sustainability agenda with clean, renewable power for their headquarters, which is also home to an impressive recycling operation.”
Founded in 1992, Houston Furniture Bank is committed to Making Empty Houses Homes. In 2020, we opened the new Houston Furniture Bank North location in The Woodlands and achieved 100,000 mattresses recycled through our signature Mattress Recycling Center and 100,000 individuals served. In the words of Executive Director, Oli Mohammed, “In our 29-year history, we have consistently shown that helping the environment and helping people go hand in hand. Whether we are redistributing gently-used furniture, recycling mattresses, or reducing our carbon footprint, our community benefits in countless ways.”
Robert Gallegos, City of Houston, Councilman, District I
Lara Cottingham, City of Houston, Chief Sustainability Officer
Daniel Richmond, Green Mountain Energy, Manager of Solar and Strategic Partnerships
Stacy Mehlhoff, Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, Executive Director
Rachel Powers, Citizen’s Environmental Council, Executive Director
A special thanks to those who helped Houston Furniture Bank create our new “World of Good” mural; Roni Cabrera for her talent and hard work, Marek Brothers, for the use of their boom lift, and Benjamin Moore at Southwestern Paint Co. on Taft for the donation of paint and supplies!