By DeeDee Belmares
The following piece first appeared in the San Antonio Express-News
Solar energy promises a brighter and cleaner future for San Antonio. But San Antonio’s electric utility, CPS Energy, proposed scrapping important financial incentives that accelerate solar adoption. Ending the incentives, potentially as soon as this summer, would threaten our progress toward a healthier environment and meeting our energy demand.
Solar has to become more accessible, with a large and increasing portion of solar adopters having low to moderate incomes. Research by the Berkeley Lab shows that in Texas, as of 2020, 24 percent of solar adopters earned $50,000 or less per year, and another 38 percent earned between $50,000 and $100,000 per year. Not only are households with low to moderate incomes adopting solar, but they are also an increasingly significant percentage of solar adopters. Those earning at or below the median income for their county of residence increased from 26.4 percent in 2010 to 39.4 percent in 2020, with much of that increase coming in recent years.