07.14.15

Congresswoman Lee Introduces Bill to Expand Solar Access to Low-Income Families

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced the Low Income Solar Act (LISA), H.R. 3041, along with Congressmen Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN). The Senate companion bill, S. 1713, was introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

"I am proud to be introducing the Low-Income Solar Act of 2015 with Congressmen Cárdenas and Ellison. This legislation will empower low-income Americans to live more sustainably and save money by installing solar panels on their homes," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.  "This important legislation is another critical step toward reducing fossil fuel consumption while ensuring economic and environmental justice for all, especially for our low-income communities and communities of color."

This legislation would establish grants for low-income homeowners to help them place solar panels on their own homes. Additionally, it provides for loans to establish community solar facilities.

“Low income Americans are just like the rest of our nation: They are paying way too much for fossil fuel energy,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “My legislation will give them the opportunity to keep more money in their pocket and help America stop relying on countries who don’t like us for energy, while we keep more fossil fuels in the ground, where they belong.”

“Solar energy is vital to reversing dangerous global warming and reducing the health impacts of air pollution, but we need to make sure that all Americans have access to this clean energy resource,” said Congressman Ellison. “The Low Income Solar Act encourages innovative solar installation and financing models that will help bring the benefits of solar to low-income households.”

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association National Solar Database, there are 72 solar energy companies and more than 1,800 solar industry employees in the 13th Congressional district.

“Furthermore, this legislation is good for the East Bay's growing solar sector and will help create and support many green jobs in our community,” added Congresswoman Lee.

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.