Last year, the PG&E Energy Savings Assistance Common Area Measures (ESA CAM) program helped cover the cost of new, energy-saving equipment at Eden Housing’s the Altenheim—a historic, six-acre campus in Oakland’s Dimond District that now serves as a senior living community. Along with improving resident comfort and safety, the upgrades will save the community an estimated $12,000 a year on energy bills. The project is also a 2022 ESA CAM staff favorite because last August the team got to volunteer at a Property Beatification Day at Altenheim. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know the community better and learn more about what makes the property so special.  

The community at Altenheim was founded in the 1890s by immigrants from German-speaking countries, and the original main building dates to the 1910s. The property provides 174 senior apartments including 28 homes for seniors experiencing or at-risk for experiencing homelessness and seniors with disabilities. This large property contains over 10,000 square feet of common areas, including: a two-story rotunda with a lobby, music lounge, library, and offices, as well as a large dining hall, a smaller community room and two solaria. This makes the Altenheim a great fit for the ESA CAM program, which focuses on saving energy through upgrades to common areas.  

ESA CAM helped the Altenheim complete a series of energy efficiency improvements, including:  

    • Over $81k in lighting upgrades throughout the hallways and community rooms, which will reduce energy use and improve visibility, safety, and security  

    • Three smart recirculation pumps on the domestic hot water heaters that will reduce energy and ensure minimal wait times for hot water from the tap.   

    • A new, energy-efficient refrigerator in the common area 

To learn more about the upgrades and incentives provided by ESA CAM, watch our video case study

Exterior view of Altenheim building Interior view of lighting in Altenheim building Interior view of lighting in Altenheim building Interior view of lighting in Altenheim building Interior view of lighting in Altenheim building


Treatment Photos (Photo Credit: TRC)

For this Property Beautification Day, the ESA CAM team coordinated with Eden Housing’s volunteer opportunity team and helped the Altenheim’s small maintenance staff clean and beautify the property. This included activities such as:

    • Cleaning and disinfecting all resident building hallways, stairwells and shared spaces. 

    • Cleaning and disinfecting community garbage and recycling bins.  

    • Removing trash and debris from outside areas and main entryways. 

The ESA CAM team loves giving back to the community the program serves and getting to learn more about such a historic site was a special treat. Everyone at ESA CAM—from the program’s managers and application leads to the case managers and field auditors—appreciated the opportunity to visit a completed project. The team got to see firsthand how energy saving upgrades benefit residents and property staff, while helping to maintain a bit of Oakland’s rich history. 

Thanks to Alyssa Santos and Tom White from Eden Housing for supporting this opportunity, as well as the welcoming property management staff for the tour of the beautiful property. If you or your organization are interested in volunteering at the property, click here to learn more about Altenheim’s Property Beautification Day offering.   

If other ESA CAM properties have sponsorship, volunteer or service opportunities available, please send them to [email protected]. We can also help promote opportunities on our channels.

ESA CAM Staff inside Altenheim building ESA CAM staff cleaning outside of Altenheim building ESA CAM staff cleaning outside of Altenheim building ESA CAM Staff cleaning at Altenheim Exterior view of Altenheim building


Volunteer Photos (Photo Credit: TRC)