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Low Income Neighborhoods Willing To Pay More For Solar Energy, Report Shows

Aired 8/30/12 on KPBS News.

San Diego gets plenty of sunshine and a recent survey shows low income neighborhoods want to take better advantage of it.

— San Diego gets plenty of sunshine and a recent survey shows low income neighborhoods want to take better advantage of it.

Workers install First Solar panels in Blythe, CA.
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Above: Workers install First Solar panels in Blythe, CA.

A recent survey by the Environmental Health Coalition shows 72 percent of registered voters in south San Diego would pay more in utilities bills to get solar energy in their neighborhoods. Nearly 300 people living in City Heights, Barrio Logan, Sherman Heights and National City took part in the survey.

Community organizer José Franco Garcia said people support the idea even if they can’t use solar energy for their own homes.

“People were willing to do it, not even on their rooftop, but (so) they could see it in their neighborhood,” he said. “So, like programs that would bring it into schools or on all the commercial buildings in their neighborhood.”

Those surveyed were asked if they’d be willing to pay 10 cents more a month for solar. Garcia said people are willing to pay as long as they believe others are doing their part to bring solar energy to poor communities.

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