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California Gives Free Solar Panels To Its Poorest Communities

27/05/2015 12:57 BST | Updated 27/05/2015 17:59 BST

The sun and all its goodness is essentially a free gift of nature. Harnessing its energy however, can be an expensive affair that has a starting price of £6,000.

Despite the savings solar panels can make on household electricity bills, the installation cost has made it a luxury add-on that remains exclusive to the wealthy.

California has decided to change this trend and give its poorest communities free solar panels in a bid to increase their access to clean energy.

solar panels california

In order to qualify, residents will reportedly have to be living in a "disadvantaged neighbourhood" and be earning no more than 80 percent of the median income for households in their area.

The scheme will be lead by Grid Alternatives, a nonprofit firm that's hoping to install "rooftop solar for more than 1,600 families through 2016."

Grid Alternatives believe its solar systems will save residents including Roy Rivera a disabled man who lives on a fixed income, around $800 (£500) in the first year and $22,800 (£14,815) over its 30-year lifespan.

All residents are asked to do in return is either help with the installation or feed the crew.

Mr. Rivera said: "When you have a budget like ours, which is stretched just about as far as you can go, it makes a big difference."

The initiative is reportedly a clever policy that enables companies that are pumping toxins into the atmosphere to do some form of social good.

If the scheme proves to be successful however, it'll also serve to allay climate change.