Weatherization assistance programs to include solar energy

CCTV News

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In a first for the U.S. solar energy will be included in weatherization assistance programs.

Those programs help low-income families as well as some senior citizens, disabled people and who need help with home energy bills. It’s yet another indication of how the price of solar has declined.

CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports the story.

Weatherization assistance programs to include solar energy

Weatherization assistance programs to include solar energy

It's a first in the U.S: for the first time, solar energy is being included in weatherization assistance programs.

In Colorado Springs, Lynn Gramoll’s house now features the old and the shiny and new.

“Lo and behold we got a whole lot more than we ever thought we would get,” said Lynn Gramoll.

Solar panels now adorn his roof, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy and his local utility.

Gramoll is the very first American to receive solar arrays as part of a weatherization assistance program. Those programs across the U.S., already offer a host of other free, cost-effective energy efficiency measures to folks who want help paying their utility bills.

Howard Brooks’ non-profit Energy Resource Center helped bring solar power to this home.

“We come in and make their home more efficient,” Brooks said. “Just over two kilowatts and it’s going to provide somewhere in excess of 20 dollars a month in electric bill savings.”

The price of solar panels and the cost of their installation and permitting have come down roughly 80 percent over the past seven years or so.

Tom Plant of the Center for the New Energy Economy says that could help utilities make homes more energy-efficient.

“Adding solar is really substantial because it puts another tool in the toolbox of the people who are delivering these kinds of services to low-income families,” said Tom Plant.

Rooftop solar could ease the burden on U.S. taxpayers who pay an estimated $6 billion of energy assistance each year. It could put more solar installers to work.


Electricity-starved Gaza turns to solar power

Engineering students Khaled al-Bardawil and Jamal Mikati from Gaza’s al-Azhar University have designed a solar-powered car to combat the region’s power crisis. The students see the vehicle as one possible solution to the chronic power deficit.

CCTV’s Noor Harazeen reports the story.

Electricity-starved Gaza turns to solar power

Electricity-starved Gaza turns to solar power

Getting people to embrace solar power would be an efficient and effective solution to energy needs in Gaza. Power cuts here can last up to 12 hours per day, bringing daily life in the tiny strip to a standstill. CCTV’s Noor Harazeen reports the story

Getting people to embrace solar power would be an efficient and effective solution to energy needs in Gaza. Power cuts here can last up to 12 hours per day, bringing daily life in the tiny strip to a standstill.

Firms are forced to cut work times and people have to adapt their daily lives according to the availability of power. Meanwhile, fuel for generators is costly and problematic.

Seeing no end to the power crisis, the territory that has lots of sunshine, some universities, schools, hospitals, and shops have started turning to solar energy. Some residents have also installed solar panels on their rooftops. Not only are solar panels more reliable and cheaper, in some cases, they have become essential to staying alive.

Most of the equipment, including batteries and controllers, are imported from China, where they are made by U.S., Canadian or German companies. They are imported via Israel, which allows them into Gaza via one of its crossings. However, solar panels are not available to the majority of residents due to their high cost.