California Is Donating Solar Panels To Its Low-Income Residents

The idea of using solar power at home is a great one — as it's both sustainable and renewable — but its steep cost makes it, more often than not, unattainable.

As reported by SFGate, a new program in California is trying to put solar panels within reach of low-income families, rather than just middle- to high-income families.

The cost of a solar panel system for a single home can exceed $15,000, but it also saves each of them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in electrical bills.

Using nearly $15 million raised through California's cap-and-trade laws for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the nonprofit Grid Alternatives will provide over 1,600 free solar panel systems for disadvantaged neighborhoods by the end of 2016.

Roy Rivera, a disabled man who lives on a fixed income in Sacramento, is the first California resident to receive a free rooftop solar system.

"We hope the savings will help defray some of my medical costs," Rivera said during the announcement. "When you have a budget like ours, which is stretched just about as far as you can go, it makes a big difference."

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