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New Program Brings Solar Power To Low-Income Fresnans

May 7, 2015

Solar panels were installed on a Fresno home as part of the Low-Income Weatherization Program.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A new statewide program using cap-and-trade money to fund solar panels for low-income residents launched this week  in Fresno. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports.

Salvador Mendoza and his family are one of the first 1,780 households in the state to receive rooftop solar panels through California’s Low-Income Weatherization Program.

The Mendoza's home is the first home of 20 in Fresno to have solar panels installed through the program.
Credit Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Mendoza has lung disease and lives in one of the most economically impoverished parts of Fresno.

MENDOZA: “It’s a very good thing. I take medicine for life. The savings from the panels will help me pay my medical bills.”

Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De Leon worked on legislation to fund local projects that combat climate change while at the same time lower bills for low-income people.

DE LEON: “A lot of working families simply can’t afford their energy bills when the air conditioner is running for blast obviously emissions of carbon are real high into the atmosphere. And that sort of compounds the issue of air quality.”

The panels are funded through $­75 million in cap-and-trade auction proceeds and 20 homes in the Fresno area at this point will receive panels.