News Column

N.J. Families Get Free Solar Panels

October 2, 2013

Nicquel Terry, Asbury Park Press

solar panels
Solar panel installation (file photo)

Oct. 01--ASBURY PARK -- Jolyn Bright and her husband Warren are looking forward to seeing their electric bill decrease by at least 50 percent after Tuesday.

They are one of the first families in New Jersey to receive new solar panels from Grid Alternatives, a California-based non-profit organization that has expanded its cost-saving solar power project to the east coast. More than 30 volunteers in hard hats gathered at two newly-built Affordable Housing Alliance homes on Avenue A Tuesday to install solar panels on the roofs.

The initiative, called the Solar Affordable Housing Program, donates the panels to low-income families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Jolyn Bright said the panels were the second miracle she has received this year -- the first being the two-story house on Avenue A after a city landlord kicked her family out their former home on Third Avenue. Bright took a series of home ownership classes through the Affordable Housing Alliance before she moved in the house through a rent-to-buy program.

"It's actually great because I'm asthmatic and I pay a lot in electric (bills)," Bright said of the solar panels. "I need the air (conditioning) and your bill accumulates in the summertime."

The Asbury Park homes are the first in the state to benefit from the Solar Affordable Housing Program. The program has provided solar panels for more than 3,600 families, saving them $100 million in lifetime electricity costs.

Grid Alternatives plans to open an office in the New Jersey/New York region in early 2014 and begin helping more families save on energy costs, said Tim Sears, co-founder of the organization.

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Nicquel Terry; nterry@njpressmedia.com; 732-643-4023

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(c)2013 Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.)

Visit the Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.) at www.app.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Original headline: California non-profit installs free solar panels for Asbury Park families



Source: (c)2013 Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.)


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