Solar In Reach For More In New Orleans

Low-income and minority families in New Orleans are getting a better shot at energy- and money-saving home solar power, thanks to Adam Capital Clean Energy Asset Finance and Sustainable Environmental Enterprises (SEE). Adam Capital is loaning $1 million to SEE, which the company will use to finance rooftop systems for at least 85 low-income homes in the Crescent City.

“This loan allows us to expand our programs serving communities of color, and low to moderate income homeowners,” Lea Keal, CEO of SEE, said in a statement. “There is a very real need in this community, but we didn’t have the dollars to serve this constituency until now. Thanks to Adam Capital, we’re literally leveling the playing field so the green revolution doesn’t pass by communities disadvantaged by lower incomes.”

low-income home solar, New Orleans

image via Shutterstock

According to the companies, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Louisiana recognized the important role solar power could play in making communities less vulnerable to extreme weather events. But premium solar incentives offered by the state have often been out of reach for low and moderate income households, who, ironically, spend a higher percentage of their income on energy.

SEE said its financing plans allow people on fixed incomes to save money and nail down their long-term energy costs with affordable solar leases. Savings over the life of the solar systems is said to be $58,000. Other benefits of the program: “Customers with medical needs can finance battery systems to provide backup power during storms or power outages for up to three days. SEE has also negotiated unique insurance packages specifically for their customers to cover the full replacement cost of panels damaged or destroyed by storms.”

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.