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Low income solar

Silicon Valley based SunPower, has announced a partnership with GRID Alternatives to provide solar panels for low-income housing.

GRID Alternatives is a non-profit solar installer that trains and leads teams of volunteers and job trainees to install solar power for low-income families throughout California. SunPower will provide GRID Alternatives with solar panels through a combination of donations and fair market value sales. The two companies have worked with each other the past six years, assisting hundreds of families in need and providing more than 1,000 employee volunteer hours, philanthropic gifts, equipment donations and sales.

The partnership is expected to generate a combined $10 million in electricity savings for assisted families over the life of the systems.

“Partnering with GRID Alternatives aligns perfectly with SunPower’s commitment to building clean-powered communities around the world, and in this case, right here in our backyard,” said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. “By providing GRID with the highest efficiency, highest-reliability solar panels commercially available today, SunPower is helping families in need to reduce their electricity costs over the life of each system, while our employees support local volunteerism.”

Since 2004, GRID Alternatives has installed more than 1,700 solar electric systems and provided installation training to more than 8,000 community members across California.

State agencies, as well as private enterprises, offer a variety of California solar rebates and incentives to help low-income households make the move to renewable energy. In 2011, the California Public Utilities Commission launched a program with incentives reaching between $4.75 and $7 per watt. The program also helps subsidize the cost of acquiring and installing solar panels.

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