Low-income solar program expands into unincorporated LA County

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A program that has pushed rooftop solar power into East Los Angeles is now pushing forward throughout L.A. County.

The 5-year-old program is called “Green Grants.” Enterprise Community Partners runs it, supported by federal community development block grant money.

Homeowners that make less than $68,000 for a family of four can qualify for energy efficiency retrofits and rooftop solar systems if their houses are sturdy enough.

So far, the grants have been available to about 90 East L.A. homes in L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina’s district. Now the project’s expanding to all parts of unincorporated L.A. County in Molina’s district. The state has a separate solar program for low-income families, but it’s harder to qualify for that one.

Enterprise says the East L.A. houses with new solar panels already report lower utility bills. The group argues over 30 years, cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from renewable energy at these sites will be just like planting 3,000 trees.