California is giving away free solar panels to its poorest residents

California has been known for it’s progressive views on the environment and energy usage. In the state’s latest effort to help reduce their carbon footprint and switch to more environmentally responsible, sustainable forms of energy, the state is giving out solar panels to some of its poorest residents.

Grid alternatives is an Oakland, CA based organization that is providing solar panels to low-income residents of the state in an effort to help them save money and reduce their carbon footprint. The organization has given out more than 12 MW worth of renewable energy source for families including solar panels. Solar energy is widely regarded as being one of the cleanest, most renewable sources of energy. Cost is often cited as being the largest barrier to converting to using solar energy.

Solar panels can be placed directly on the roof of a home or business, and depending on the amount of sunlight that the building gets and the amount of energy they use, often produces and stores more energy than the people in the building are able to use. Accordin to Homejoy in the article on Time, this means that after the initial cost of the solar panels is covered, the energy is free. For families on a fixed income, the gift of solar panels could save them thousands of dollars in energy costs every year. Additionally, some energy companies allow customers who are tapped into the grid to sell back energy they do not use.