White House to unveil solar panel program for poor areas

WASHINGTON, July 7 (UPI) -- The Obama administration will unveil a project 
Tuesday that will help low- and middle-income Americans obtain solar panels for 
energy production, taking another step in the president's goal of tackling 
climate change.

The administration said by 2020 it plans to triple the capacity of solar and 
other renewable energy systems in federally subsidized housing and make it 
easier for homeowners to borrow money for solar panels. The White House said 
the plan will "help continue to scale up solar for all Americans, including 
those who are renters, lack the startup capital to invest in solar, or do not 
have adequate information on how to transition to solar energy."

"We need to expand opportunities for more families to reap the benefits of 
using cleaner sources of energy that can also help households save money on 
their utility bills," Brian Deese, Obama's top energy adviser, said Monday.

Deese and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., will travel to Baltimore Tuesday to roll 
out the program with a key component from the Energy Department to help build 
neighborhood solar farms that don't require panels to be installed on the roofs 
of homes and businesses. It's meant to make solar an option to renters who 
can't install solar panels on rooftops.

Deese said the Energy Department "will provide low-cost financing, particularly 
to households, and improve our government lending programs to make them easier 
to utilize so that it's easier for individuals to take advantage of this 
benefit."

Deese said the program includes commitments totaling about $520 million from 
investors, charities, states and cities to pay for solar and energy-efficient 
projects for lower-income communities. The program will not only help the 
planet but also help local residents, Cummings said.

"The difference in a monthly bill of $10 or $15 means a lot to the people who 
live on my block," Cummings said.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/07/07/White-House-to-unveil-solar-panel-program-for-poor-areas/7101436275343/?spt=sec&or=tn
 

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