Here in the United States, there is ongoing debate on a situation known as the energy crisis, a scenario in which America’s dependence on fossil fuel or nuclear power plants will either be not enough or result in disaster. Ergo, the utilization of green energy has been pushed over the years, specifically solar energy.
Such a push is not without example as other countries — especially those with a higher percentage of low-income families like Peru — have already used solar energy to the benefit of their people. As a matter of fact, Germany has an entire city that runs solely on solar energy though they only use a quarter of it.
Now, California is following the example of those aforementioned countries with low-income families. The state will now initiate a plan to give solar panels to families who are recognized as low-income.
According to the San Francisco Gate, the Grid Alternatives Project aims to get polluting companies to pay for putting solar panels on the roofs of low-income houses. This is done through the cap-and-trade money raised by the state from companies who had to pay a lot in fines for the release of carbon dioxide emissions. Low-income families who benefit from the project will not spend a single penny out of pocket.
Right now, California State Government will use $14.7 million from the cap-and-trade system. By providing solar panels to low-income housing — which cannot afford the $15,000 up-front costs of installing solar panels in the first place — California hopes to curb greenhouse gas emissions. It should also be noted that $14.7 million is just a small portion of fines paid by companies guilty of emitting a large amount of carbon dioxide emissions. The total estimate accumulated through cap-and-trade is about $1.6 billion.
The plan is surely a win-win for both California and low-income families. The state cuts back on carbon dioxide emissions while families now have one less bill to worry about.
For those in California interested in getting the free solar panels installed on their house, IFL Science reports details for application. Families classified as disadvantaged qualify. Families also have six years to jump on the project since it will officially end in 2021.
[Image via Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock]