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Lawmakers show support to expand solar access for low-income households

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A new bill would expand opportunities for low-income households to install solar panels.

House Bill 949 earmarks funds for a solar energy storage system loan program.

The financing would apply to “ALICE” households – whose residents are asset-limited, income constrained and employed.

ALICE households often do not earn enough to cover the basic costs of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, a smartphone plan or taxes.

Their limited income can put things like solar panels out of reach.

As of 2022, 44% of Hawaiʻi households were below the ALICE threshold, according to the latest report.

The most recent draft of the bill states that the measure would appropriate the funds needed for the loans of a solar energy storage program, a renewable energy system installation program and a solar energy system revolving fund.

Written testimony showed strong support for the bill and HB949 was passed unanimously by the Finance Committee on Monday.

Savannah Harriman-Pote is the energy and climate change reporter.
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