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“I don’t know if I agree with some of the greenhouse gas people or whatever, but I do believe that [solar power] is a good use of saving energy,” said Joan Murphy, 77, of Loveland, CO.

Colorado’s weatherization offices, which help low-income homeowners improve energy efficiency, are partnering with utilities and non-profits to install solar panels on homes. Credit: GRID Alternatives Low-income households in Colorado are getting a new question during visits from energy assistance agencies: Have you considered solar panels? It’s an innovative approach to solving two challenges at once: reducing greenhouse gas emissions as the effects of climate change appear across the state, and lowering low-income families’ electricity bills. The results can make a big difference for residents like Joe Anderson, whose power bills have been cut by two-thirds since 13 solar panels were installed free-of-charge on his ranch-style house under one Colorado program. "I felt like I kind of got the luck of the draw," he said. Colorado is emerging as a national model for how to expand renewable energy to low-income homes. The state has been pursuing low-income solar programs since 2015, and it’s on track to have 20 megawatts installed by the end of 2019 as those programs ramp up. The total is the combination of several programs that, working with utilities and charitable organizations, provide rooftop installations and community solar arrays to help customers save money. One key to […]

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