New initiative creates solar opportunities for low income Baltimore families

Posted at 4:06 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 18:07:19-04

Legislators announced a new initiative Tuesday that will provide solar for low income residents, jobs for young adults, and cut emissions.

The initiative works with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's Weatherization Assistance Program, where resident get a new roof and other improvements to their home.

After the home is upgraded, the non profit GRID installs solar panels, with no cost to the resident. GRID Coordinator Albert Arèvalo said the solar panels are from a fourth party, Spruce, who owns the panels and gets the tax credit for the installation.

Arèvalo said the average savings a resident in Baltimore attains with the solar panels is 40% per month. 

Legislators agree this program is a win all the way around.

"Ladies and gentleman, Baltimore will not rise without jobs, and jobs that cannot be exported," Representative Elijah Cummings said.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake said solar is a rapidly growing field, and this gives many equal opportunity.

GRID operates across the nation and currently has about 10 young adults, age 18- 24-years-old, working with the initiative in Baltimore.

Ten installations have already been completed and the non-profit expects to complete 40 total by the end of 2016.

In an effort to pay it forward, residents are required to pay $6 a month to fund installations for other families.