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Congressman Tony Cardenas

Representing the 29th District of California

Cárdenas, Reps.: “Help Low-Income Americans Send Marty Back To The Future!”

Jul 14, 2015
Press Release
Thanks to the high cost of fossil electricity and the low cost of solar, it’s incredibly cost-effective for homeowners to install solar on their roofs. More than 20 gigawatts of solar capacity has been installed nationwide, enough to power more than 4.3 million homes.

Cárdenas, Reps.: “Help Low-Income Americans Send Marty Back To The Future!”

 

(Washington, DC) – Thanks to the high cost of fossil electricity and the low cost of solar, it’s incredibly cost-effective for homeowners to install solar on their roofs. More than 20 gigawatts of solar capacity has been installed nationwide, enough to power more than 4.3 million homes.

As “Back to the Future” celebrates its 30th anniversary, fans will note that it’s also enough to send Marty McFly back and forth through time 17 times.

Thanks to U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-North Hollywood, Calif.) , getting Marty home that 18th time may get easier, even without a Mr. Fusion. Cárdenas was joined today by his colleagues Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) in introducing legislation to help, especially if Marty ever ends up in the lower-income parts of Hill Valley.

Cárdenas, a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, introduced H.R. 3041, the Low Income Solar Act (LISA), to establish loans and grants for low-income homeowners, creating grants to help them place solar panels on their own home or loans that would allow construction of, and access to, community solar facilities.

Unfortunately, low-income families frequently lack the capital to invest in solar, or do not have the infrastructure in their home to allow solar to be installed.

 “Low income Americans are just like the rest of our nation: They are paying way too much for fossil fuel energy,” said Cárdenas. “My legislation will give them the opportunity to keep more money in their pocket and help America stop relying on countries who don’t like us for energy, while we keep more fossil fuels in the ground, where they belong.”

LISA is the House companion to S. 1713, a Senate bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

"I am proud to be introducing the Low-Income Solar Act of 2015 with Congressman Cárdenas. This legislation will empower low-income Americans to live more sustainably and save money by installing solar panels on their homes," said Lee.  "This important legislation is another critical step toward reducing fossil fuel consumption while ensuring economic and environmental justice for all, especially for our low-income communities and communities of color.  Furthermore, this legislation is good for the East Bay's growing solar sector and will help create and support many green jobs in our community."

LISA would provide grants to low-income residents, to help lessen the cost of installing solar on their roofs. For those who cannot install solar, loans would be provided for companies to develop community solar facilities that would be linked to low-income homes.

“Solar energy is vital to reversing dangerous global warming and reducing the health impacts of air pollution, but we need to make sure that all Americans have access to this clean energy resource,” said Ellison. “The Low Income Solar Act encourages innovative solar installation and financing models that will help bring the benefits of solar to low-income households.”

Recently, the White House announced a new initiative to increase access to solar for all Americans, including low- and moderate- income communities, and expand opportunities join the solar workforce. This effort included setting a goal to install 300 megawatts of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing and providing technical assistance to make it easier to install solar, including clarifying how to use Federal funding.

 

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