Thousands more low-income families across California could gain access to money-saving solar technology and clean energy jobs in the coming years with new legislation, sponsored by GRID Alternatives, to extend California?s groundbreaking low-income solar programs. The Equitable Access to Solar Energy Bill (AB217), introduced by Assembly Member Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and co-authored by Senator Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles), would extend the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes and Multi-Family Affordable Solar Housing Programs (SASH and MASH) for another six years with a budget of $108 million.
The two programs, which began in 2009 through the California Solar Initiative, offer solar rebates for families who meet strict income requirements and live in affordable housing, while promoting energy efficiency and workforce development. They are slated to end in 2015.
?California has very aggressive renewable energy goals and is making significant investments in the clean energy economy,? Assembly Member Bradford said. ?AB 217 will ensure low-income communities will have equal access to the technologies and the jobs from these investments.?
As the Program Administrator for SASH, GRID Alternatives has been able to bring solar power to more than 2600 families under the program, and has provided hands-on installation experience to thousands of community volunteers and job seekers. We?ve heard from many of them how much it has meant for their lives:
?With the significantly reduced electricity bills, I can help family members with groceries,? said SASH Program client Learline Carter of Compton. "Solar has opened my eyes. I am way more conscious of how I'm using my electricity."
"No one wanted to hire me because I had no solar experience," said Jonathan Hobby, a former contractor who got a job in solar after volunteering with GRID. "I owe it all to GRID."
We invite all of our volunteers, clients and supporters to join us in supporting AB217. It?s a win-win for our families, our economy and the environment. Download our fact sheet, sample letter of support, and instructions for submission, or stay tuned for a petition, coming soon to your email inbox. Not on our email list? Click here to sign up.