Local man receives no-cost solar panel system - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local man receives no-cost solar panel system

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — SunPower employees worked hard Tuesday volunteering for Grid Alternatives - a non-profit group dedicated to installing solar panels for low income families. 

"Traditionally they're left out of the solar revolution and obviously that is something that we feel very passionately about," said Grid Alternatives Emma Higgins. "We think solar should be available to everyone regardless of income." 

Research shows not only is solar power unaffordable for families on a fixed income, but Grid Alternatives has found that low income families pay as much as 4 times more than other middle class families in energy bills each month. In Valencia Park some families spend up to $500 per month on energy, which will just perpetuate a cycle of poverty. 

Once solar panels are installed by Grid Alternatives volunteers, families report saving between $200 and $300 dollars on their bills.  

The gentleman who owns the home in Valencia Park getting an installation will soon retire and said that savings will help him survive his retirement. 

Grid Alternatives installs solar panels for two families per week on average, but said Tuesday's installation was special because one of their corporate partners was working hard with them. 

SunPower has supported Grid Alternatives since 2006. 

"It's a great opportunity for us to show their neighbors that it's possible, that there are programs out here that can help the low income families," said SunPower Employee Diona Atkins. 

SunPower donated the solar panels Tuesday, in addition to volunteering the time to install them.  

Visit gridalternatives.org to see if you qualify for a donated installation. 

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