Creative Program Provides More Than 1,000 Low-Income Households with Solar Energy
April 29, 2012 (Sacramento) -- During the Green California Summit Leadership Awards Ceremony April 26 and 27, at the Sacramento Convention Center, the California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) Solar For All California pilot program was honored with a 2012 Green California Leadership Award for energy innovation. The CSD program uses innovative funding solutions through federal funding, state rebates and creative partnerships to address unequal access to residential solar energy for low-income families.
“By bringing together a diverse group of public and private partners, CSD has been able to offer potentially life-changing solar systems to some of California’s neediest families,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana S. Dooley. “I applaud CSD for their ingenuity to continue serving low-income Californians through innovative means in these difficult economic times.”
“The Department is incredibly honored to receive a 2012 Green California Leadership award for this pioneering program,” said CSD Interim Director John A. Wagner. “CSD is committed to helping low-income families meet their home energy needs, and Solar For All California is an innovative solution to do just that by helping low-income households harness the power of the sun to reduce their energy bills.”
While middle and upper-income households have been able to take advantage of incentives and special financing options to install solar systems on their homes, these options remain beyond the economic reach for many low-income households. A study released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stressed the need for greater access to available options for low-income households to reduce energy costs. This study reported low-income households can spend as high as 16.4 percent of their income on residential energy services, while an average household spends just 7.2 percent.
Solar For All California is a pilot program designed to help address this disparity by installing rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar systems on the homes of more than 1,000 low-income families throughout California at no cost to the resident. This provides a long-term solution for low-income households to reduce their energy costs.
“I am a disabled senior citizen living alone so every chance I get, I look for ways to save. When I saw the notice that offered the opportunity of having a solar system to help reduce my energy costs, I jumped at the chance,” said G. Aguirre, a Solar For All California customer in Fresno. “I have seen a great difference in my energy bills. They range from $15 to $35 per month. It is always helpful being able to save.”