LA renters have been shut out of solar. That's about to change.

Employees of Solar Forward install solar electric panels on a residential rooftop on February 27, 2009 in Santa Monica, California. Until now, solar panels have largely been confined to homeowners.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Employees of Solar Forward install solar electric panels on a residential rooftop on February 27, 2009 in Santa Monica, California. Until now, solar panels have largely been confined to homeowners. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images

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Until now, it's been almost impossible for renters in Los Angeles to access solar energy. Rooftops are controlled by landlords, who may or may not be interested in renewable power.

But that's about to change.

A new Los Angeles Department of Water and Power program called Shared Solar would let renters buy electricity from solar panels installed on government buildings around the city — no rooftop or landlord permission required.

This story is part of Elemental: Covering Sustainability, a new multimedia collaboration between Cronkite News, Arizona PBS, KJZZ, KPCC, Rocky Mountain PBS and PBS SoCal.