Solar Panels To Cut Energy Bill For Some Low-Income Coloradans

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Photo: Rooftop solar (AP Photo)
In this July 28, 2015, photo, electricians Adam Hall, right, and Steven Gabert, install solar panels on a roof in Goodyear, Ariz.

The Colorado Energy Office is using solar power to help lower utility bills for low-income households. The first rooftop solar array is in place on a home in Colorado Springs.

The solar initiative is part of the state's Weatherization Program. It's a first in the country for the program that is operated federally by the U.S. Department of Energy. Weatherization saves energy through insulation, storm windows, LED bulbs and more efficient refrigerators.

Joe Pereira, the office's director of low-income energy services, said the solar initiative builds on the state’s weatherization program.

"The rooftop solar offering is an extension of that project and allows us to more than double the savings a customer will receive on their energy bills. We’ll be able to increase those savings from $200 to somewhere between $400 and $600 per year," Pereira said.

He said the hope is to add solar power for 100 low-income households per year.

The project has three main goals.

"It addresses energy burden by reducing both home heating and electric costs. It enhances opportunities for distributed generation, and it demonstrates the viability of rooftop solar offerings for low-income households," he said.

For eligibility guidelines and more information on the weatherization program click here.