What are the Solar Options for Low Income Families?


Although solar panels for homes have dropped in price over the last decade, they still require an investment to purchase outright and install.

While this is an affordable possibility for many middle class families, especially given the long term energy savings, it may be difficult for low income households to save money and make such a large upfront investment.

What are the options for those homeowners who don’t have that kind of cash on hand, but want to enjoy the benefits of Los Angeles and Orange County solar power?

After all, these families have as much to gain from renewable energy as wealthy households. And often, low income citizens are disproportionately affected by problems like climate change, rising electricity costs and pollution from coal power plants located near their neighborhoods. There are a couple possible solutions to the problem of affordability for these families.

Subsidized Solar Systems in California

The California Solar Initiative (CSI) set aside some of its budget to fund SASH, a program that pays for solar panel installation on the roofs of single family low income housing.

So far, the program has helped more than 4,000 families go solar and use clean, renewable energy in their homes. In the fall, the California government extended the program through 2021, which means that Grid Alternatives will be helping thousands more install solar panels at an affordable price.

Those interested should review the eligibility requirements on Grid Alternative’s website to see if you qualify for a solar installation through SASH. You may also contact the organization at (866) 921-4696 or sash@gridalternatives.org for more information.

Leasing Solar Panels to Save Money

By leasing panels, you are able to avoid a large upfront installation cost for your solar electric system and spread out the cost through monthly payments. If the savings on your electricity bill offset the lease payment, then it’s a worth investment.

As an example, one of our customers was previously paying electric bills as high as $800 a month. With such a large monthly expense, the family was having a hard time making ends meet. Now that they have installed solar panels, their combined monthly electric bill and lease payment costs about $350.

While still seemingly expensive, it’s a big difference when compared to their previous electricity costs without solar. They now save anywhere from $300-450 a month, which helps relieve pressure from the family’s monthly budget. Much more, they are happy to be using clean energy from the sun instead of dirty energy from coal, oil or natural gas.

If you would like to find out more about leasing solar panels, contact us at (888) 595-9570 or gosolar@th2.e81.myftpupload.com. After understanding your electricity usage and surveying your roof, our solar consultants can run the numbers for a solar lease and present you with an affordable proposal that will fit your needs.