Low income Florida homes could get solar panels from federal funding – WEAR

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PENSACOLA, Fla. — Free or subsidized solar panels will be coming to low income homeowners in Florida.

The “Florida Solar For All” coalition received more than $156 million from the EPA this week.

The coalition consists of three Florida non-profits who banded together to apply for the federal funding.

Officials say this program is one way to help single-family-homes lower their energy bills.

When it’s time to open up the application process, the coalition will work with local government agencies to reach families in need.

“It’s also a way for people to actually own the asset,” said Heaven Campbell, Florida program director with Solar United Neighbors. “That’s something of an idea we call energy democracy. So people being involved in how their energy is made and having a say in that.”

Campbell says once applications are open, the coalition will work with local governments and community based groups to reach families who qualify.

Those families could receive subsidies, loans, or leases for installing rooftop solar.

“We’re going to have full grants for some systems,” Campbell said. “We’ll be working to make sure there’s vetted trusted installers and maintenance and everything so people can feel safe.”

She says there are benefits to solar power, but it’s good to be do research first. The coalition will help provide that research as well.

TJ Prime with Kings Roofing says one thing to check first is the condition of your roof.

“If you have a 3-5 year-old roof, you definitely want to get it check out,” he said. “If you have a 15 to 20 year old roof, you don’t want to put solar panels on the house until it’s re-roofed.”

Campbell says this program could also be an option for landlords.

While the applications aren’t open, you can sign up to be notified when they do. Click here for that link.

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