For many renters on limited incomes, access to solar - and it’s cost-saving benefits - is something they don’t expect to achieve anytime soon. Because renters don’t own the roofs over their heads, they’re usually unable to go solar on their own, even if they can afford the upfront costs. But as we place the final solar panels at the end of March, solar will be a reality for nearly 100 families in Richmond, CA.
Through a partnership with the City of Richmond, GRID Alternatives has been installing clean, renewable solar on 98 rental homes at Triangle Court, an affordable public housing development operated by the Richmond Housing Authority. This city agency offers a variety of public housing options to serve eligible low-income families, elderly residents, and persons with disabilities. The savings provided by these solar systems - an estimated $1.8 million total over their lifetimes - will play a significant role in helping to stabilize household costs, as families that rent here are responsible for paying their own utility bills.
These savings will have real impacts for the residents and their families. "I'm 65 years old on a fixed income and the reduction on my electricity will help me greatly as sometimes I have to struggle making ends meet. THANK you,” shares one retired resident.
"It's just me and my son. My son is 25 years old and he has a brain injury. I am excited about solar because it can help me save money for my son's health,” explains another tenant.
These are just two of the 98 families now benefitting from clean, renewable energy. The final systems will be installed by student volunteers from UC Berkeley, who will finish installation on the final units at Triangle Court this month as part of their “Solar Spring Break”.
This incredible project is the first large multi-family project for GRID Bay Area, and we look forward to serving many more renters in the Bay Area in the future.
GRID would like to thank all the volunteers, partners, equipment donor Enphase, the Richmond Housing Authority and the City of Richmond who all helped make this project a reality.