How one organization is working to make solar accessible to everyone
They say it shouldn't be a luxury just for the few.
Growing up in a low-income neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Dant’e King saw firsthand how people struggled to pay their electric bills. And, he saw that communities like his bore the brunt of the air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
He says solar power can help address some of the problems faced in poor neighborhoods. It’s a clean source of energy and it helps people save money on their utility bills.
King: “Clean energy is not just a luxury item for the few, but everyone should have access to it.”
Today, King is director of Community Engagement with Groundswell. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit works to make the benefits of solar accessible to everyone.
King: “Barriers for most people getting solar are that they don’t own their homes, their credit scores are not good enough to qualify, or they just don’t have the capital to buy the solar panels.”
So Groundswell builds community solar installations and provides a portion of the generated energy to low-income households at no cost.
King says access to clean energy is more than an environmental issue. It’s a matter of civil rights.
King: “It’s a matter of justice. It’s a matter of equality. It’s a matter of being fair.”
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Sarah is a Philadelphia-based writer and editor. She is interested in how people think and talk about the connections between climate change and their individual lives, livelihoods, and communities.