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Low-Income Solar Act of 2015 to expand solar energy access

As reported by RealEstateRama on July 15, the Low Income Solar Act, H.R. 3041 has been introduced in the House. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) initiated the bill on July 13, 2015 in the House of Representatives referring to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The original sponsor of the Low Income Solar Act was Sen. Bernie Sanders, first introducing the legislation on July 7, 2015 stating “While the cost of solar panels has gone down in recent years, it is still out of reach for millions of low-income families that need it the most.”

By introducing the Low Income Solar Act, Sanders expressed his hope to help those straining to pay electric bills, “Families across this country struggle to pay electricity bills and access to solar energy can help reduce these costs.” Coincidentally on July 7, it was also reported by The Hill that the Obama administration introduced an initiative, through the launch of the Energy Department loan program, to help build community solar systems. Through neighborhood solar farms people will not have to depend on panels being installed on the roof tops of individual homes and businesses. The goal is to bring solar power to low income communities as well as subsidized housing.

According to Find Solar Power, “Solar energy is clean, abundant and available everyday in most parts of the world. For many, it represents a way to lower their energy costs while contributing to our environment”. From California to Florida are many solar power companies that have been swiftly growing with the increased demand for solar energy. As solar power companies grow with the increasing demand, the cost of solar power has been greatly lowered. Sanders’ initial Act noted “The cost of solar power has plummeted in recent years, and as a result there are now 21.3 gigawatts of installed solar capacity in the U.S. — enough to power 4.3 million homes.”

The bill was introduced, as simply stated in the Low Income Solar Act, H.R. 3041, “To require the Secretary of Energy to provide loans and grants for solar installations in low-income and underserved areas.” The goal of the July 15 Bill is to help in attaining grants for homeowners of low income to assist them in placing solar panels on their homes as well as granting loans for communities to create their own solar facilities. The aim is to lower the cost of energy, keep Americans from having to rely on other countries for fossil fuel energy, as well as improve the health of the environment. Congressman Ellison pointed out “Solar energy is vital to reversing dangerous global warming and reducing the health impacts of air pollution, but we need to make sure that all Americans have access to this clean energy resource.”

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