A rooftop solar revolution

September 17, 2014

Who benefits from rooftop solar? If you’re thinking only rich folks can afford those snazzy solar panels – well, that’s where you’re wrong.

For low-income families, electricity bills can break the bank: low-income households spend four times as much of their income on utilities as average consumers. Making rooftop solar affordable (through policies like net metering) for these families can provide much-needed reductions in utility costs, as well as reliable power year-round.

From Bridgeport, CT to New Orleans, LA, communities are working to make it easier for low- and middle-income families to go solar. In fact, a recent analysis of solar installation data from Arizona, California, and New Jersey found that the majority of new rooftop solar systems are being installed on middle-income households.

And no one has gone further than California, where the California Solar Initiative is making rooftop solar accessible to many of the two million low-income homeowners across the state. We tell a few of California’s solar success stories on a new website, www.facesofcaliforniasolar.org, which highlights the diversity of solar customers in the Golden State.

So next time a big utility (or the Koch brothers) tries to tell you rooftop solar is only for the rich, you can show them the face of solar customers like Floricel Martinez – because that’s the real face of solar in America.

Cat Lazaroff