Is Clean Energy Reaching Poor Communities?

Eric K. Arnold

In contrast to more affluent areas of Oakland or nearby Berkeley, rooftop solar installations are uncommon among East and West Oakland flatland residents. This isn’t surprising, considering that the median income in one heavily polluted corridor in the Hegenberger area is under $33,000 annually. Vien Truong, environmental equity director for the Berkeley-based Greenlining Institute, which advocates for communities of color, says that “solar financing is out of reach” for low-income households.

How Solar Energy Got a Necessary Boost

Laura Flynn

National industry analysts say the solar sector grew by a third in just the first quarter of this year, with California leading the charge. A few things are making solar more accessible, among them: cheaper panels, rebates, and new ways to for pay for them. Crowdfunding is among these new and creative ways to finance solar panels. Instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars to install solar, other people pitch in and get something in return. It’s like a Kickstarter for your electricity bill – and it’s a business model that allows people to participate directly in making solar happen.


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