Published: Aug 31, 2012 7:29 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 31, 2012 8:14 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- A new energy efficient Cape Coral complex is saving low-income residents even more money.

Coconut Cove is located on Southeast 8th Terrace near city hall.

Esmeralda Tapia has lived with her daughter for a year but now has this new unit to call her own.

"I called my daughter, I said i got it! I was so happy," she said. As she moves in, she'll also start to save money.

From low flow toilets to solar hot water heaters that reduce the energy by almost 80 percent, Coconut Cove is a first for Cape Coral.

"It's our first affordable green rental property that we have," said Housing Coordinator Amy Yearsley.

We're told this 1.2 million dollar project is paid for with federal grant money. The city partnered with the southwest Florida AffordableHousing Choice Foundation to get the job done.


"It works out well to do the energy efficiency in rental units because the long term management costs are reduced," said Yearsley.

The units are LEED platinum certified.  LEED is a ranking of energy efficiency and platinum is the highest certification a building can get.

This is the third multi-family project in Florida to achieve this status. "We did everything we possibly could to make these the most energy efficient buildings," said Marcia Davis, with the Ft. Myers Housing Authority.

Eleanor King has seen the savings first hand. "MY water bill is lower, electric is lower, and the AC is not bad at all, she said.

Now she has more money to pamper herself.

We're told the typical electric bill shouldn't be more than 40 dollars. The other two LEED certified multi-family homes are in Fort Myers.

 

Interested in learning more? Here is a link to the requirements for Lee County's low-income housing:

http://dhs.leegov.com/programs/familyselfsufficiency/Pages/LowIncomeHousingProviders.aspx

Or, you can contact the Southwest Florida Affordable Housing Choice Foundation at the Housing Authority of Fort Myers: www.hacfm.org or (239) 344-3220