April 12, 2023
Lutheran Social Ministries of Maryland recently became part of a small number of Maryland senior living communities that are harnessing solar power at its continuing care retirement communities (i.e. life-plan communities) to help preserve the environment and reduce the communities’ electrical use and costs. Always mindful that its communities are part of larger communities, the non-profit senior living organization views solar energy as connecting and supporting those larger communities while supporting aging through innovation and thoughtful stewardship.
LSMMD’s President and CEO Jeff Branch stated, “Solar power is smart power. The addition of solar panels at our communities demonstrates our commitment to green initiatives. It reduces our electric bill and is a great investment in our and our residents’ future.”
Solar Energy Services and Mission Energy installed 400 solar energy panels at Lutheran Village at Miller’s Grant, in Ellicott City, MD, and Carroll Lutheran Village, in Westminster, MD on building roofs. LVMG’s solar energy panels are expected to reduce the community’s electricity use by 25%. The panels at CLV are expected to save the community $60,000 to $70,000 per year in electricity costs.
In addition to preserving nature, green communities also support older adults’ mental and physical health. For that reason, the environment is one of the seven dimensions of wellness. As people choose green alternatives, their awareness and respect for the environment increases and are more likely to spend more time outdoors whether it be walking, gardening or simply appreciating the views of nature.
LVMG resides on what was once farmland and some of the farm’s natural elements still exist – pond, woods and wildlife – which residents’ value. Nature’s beauty surrounds the community and more so at CLV. Like its sister community, CLV was built on farmland and is still surrounded by farms. Lush green trees, rolling hills and unobstructed sunrise and sunset views are just some of the scenes that are visible from residents’ homes and apartments.
According to LVMG’s Executive Director Michelle Rosenheim, residents are elated about the use of solar energy. Resident Ken Hunter said, “As an early resident of LVMG, I noticed the opportunities for energy savings and eagerly supported projects for lighting and solar panels as well as energy-saving design elements of new buildings. I am pleased to see the progress being made.”
Ross Menchey, CLV resident, also supports the use of solar energy. “For a long time, I have been a proponent of the use of accessible, clean and renewable energy sources for generating electricity. Such sources as solar collector systems provide a win-win solution. I am excited to see CLV add solar energy,” said Menchey.