California renters could soon get rooftop solar

News

“Over the next decade, roughly 150,000 low-income renters in California will see their apartment buildings outfitted with solar panels — and their electricity bills drop.

Regulations approved this week cleared the way for the state to spend $1 billion over 10 years — using proceeds from the state’s landmark climate-change program — on incentives for landlords to install rooftop solar panels on apartment buildings housing low-income residents.

From costly solar panels to costlier Teslas, renewable energy is often associated with environmentally conscious elites — not poor families who live near factories and crowded freeways, suffering the most from the side-effects of a fossil fuel economy.

To qualify for the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program, known as SOMAH, an apartment building must include at least five subsidized units for low-income tenants. It also must either be located in a disadvantaged area or be inhabited mostly by families earning 60 percent of the area’s typical income. Landlords will apply for the incentives.”

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