California Initiative Will Give Free Solar To Poor

California Initiative Gives Solar Panels to Poor

California Initiative Gives Solar Panels to Poor

Many philanthropic organizations utilize the 24 Characteristics of Genius in their mission towards the betterment of their fellow humans; and a nonprofit in California is a prime example.

The Oakland organization Grid Alternatives uses Dynamic Energy, for example, to enhance the well-being of the disadvantaged. Adopting the purpose of creating a positive public policy, the new program has arisen out of California’s cap-and-trade-law. The initiative, which penalizes companies for their carbon pollution, delivers free sustainability to the poor via solar roof panels.

According to SF Chronicle, the program will use the $14.7 million raised through the cap-and-trade system, greatly decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions. California’s Adaptability has made it a leader in inventive ways to take an environmental issue and create solutions that are innovative and modern. These types of programs show the state’s dedication to sustainability and environmental concerns.

By bringing solutions, social awareness and jobs to those who are generally incapable of incorporating these types of incentives, Grid Alternatives hopes to create equality in the solar-wielding landscape. Anyone who lives in a neighborhood the state currently designates as “disadvantaged” would qualify at no cost to them. Going forward, the organization has plans to install panels in over 1,500 homes by the end of 2016.  The system will save households between $400 to $1,000 a year in electricity costs, as long as the sun is shining.

The SF Chronicle article adds, “Most homeowners are asked to make small contributions for the installation, such as agreeing to feed the crew installing the array, or agreeing to help with the installation themselves. Otherwise, it’s free.”

The policy is controversial on both sides of the political arena—on the right, because it’s perceived as a tax on business, on the left because the carbon credits could be traded to enrich corporations. But ideally, only factories and fossil fuel plants would have to pay for the damage they’re doing to the climate, and the credits would go to repairing it. Here, the benefits go both to the environment and to low income residents, who will see a decrease in their electric bills.

The Grid Alternative program currently receives donations from solar companies and employs volunteer labor, but has hopes of expanding its funding. The program has the potential to become a truly powerful climate change tool for California’s poor to streamline sustainability.

Posted in Bob Duggan, Philanthropy and tagged , , , , .