The Obama administration unveiled a plan Tuesday aimed at helping middle-class and low-income communities put solar panels on their roofs.
Homeowners could choose to harness electricity from the sun, buy energy-efficient water pumps and make other energy-saving upgrades at no cost upfront, eventually paying it back through their property tax bills.
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While this type of clean-energy financing has existed for years, officials said backing by the federal Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs should expand access to families who may not afford it otherwise.
The White House estimated the effort would bring solar power to about 250,000 middle-class and low-income homes by 2020.
“Solar panels are no longer for wealthy folks who live where the sun shines every day,” President Barack Obama said in a video message accompanying the announcement.
In recent years, technological advances have made it cheaper to install rooftop solar panels, Obama senior adviser Brian Deese said in a telephone briefing with reporters.
California Gov. Jerry Brown praised the effort, saying it would lead to more solar installations and energy-saving retrofits around the country.
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