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How Lower Income Households Shifting Towards Solar Energy

How Lower Income Households Shifting Towards Solar Energy

Posted on Sept. 26, 2018 by Snigdha Mandal

As California prepares to shift to 100% renewable energy by 2045, the need of the state’s local clean energy has also increased. This is the largest economy in the world that has committed to such an aggressive goal and the process will involve expanding access to solar for residents and communities that have previously not been able to tap into the growing clean energy market in the country. people, who are living in low and moderate-income multifamily developments were especially unable to access the solar energy.

San Francisco-based residential solar and storage company, Sunrun with around 3,200 employees has decided to fill that access gap. the company over the next 10 years will install at least 100 megawatts of solar on affordable multifamily housing developments. About 80% of residents under this proposed plan earn below 60% of the area median income. The company has a very broad vision for how residential rooftop solar can change the energy system. The team is also trying its best to reach every level of economy in the state.

[Read more: Why Schools are Opting for Solar and ‘Going Green’?]

Established in 2007, Sunrun has aimed to democratize access to solar. This pioneered a solar-as-a-service model, in which homeowners could lease solar panels from Sunrun and pay for electricity usage. They would not pay for the panels outright. This proposed plan would reduce substantially the expense associated with installing residential solar.

The company has already expanded this model to 23 states and at the Caribbean island Puerto Rico, Sunrun is looking for opportunities to deepen its impact in low-income communities, which are subject to the negative externalities of coal and fossil-fuel-based energy systems too often, while lacking access to renewable.

as it doubles down on its commitment of reaching 100% renewable energy, California has been thinking about how can it make residential rooftop solar more accessible to even the lowest income brackets? The state delivered a solution in the form of a $1 billion program,‘Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing at the end of 2017. This will be paid for by California’s cap-and-trade program. Under the SOMAH, affordable housing owners get around $1,000 per panel incentives for installing solar on the roofs of their developments.

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