A Georgia BRIGHT idea to reduce climate change and close the economic divide
Capital Good Fund has a new option for low and middle-income (LMI) homeowners in Georgia who want to save money on their utility bills and be part of the solar solution to climate change, but worry alternative energy is out of their financial reach. Here’s how it works.
What: Georgia BRIGHT is a solar leasing program. It is not an ownership model. The panels belong to Capital Good Fund, which uses a combination of Federal funding, grants, and discount purchase discounts to keep the costs down for participating LMI families.
Who: Georgia BRIGHT is designed to help homeowners who have the least amount of access to solar while shouldering the greatest energy burden. It is available to around 200 Georgia families making less than $100,000 a year. The homeowner just needs to have a roof that is in good condition and meets specific income requirements. There is no minimum score required. If the homeowner moves, the lease will be transferred to the buyer who will then make the lease payments and benefit from the savings of the system.
How: There is no upfront cost. Homeowners don’t have to pay for the installation or maintenance of the solar panels. Once the panels are installed, the savings begin immediately. The average family saves 20% a month on their bills.* The homeowner’s utility bill becomes so low that even when they factor in the lease payment to Capital Good Fund, the total amount is still less than their utility bill was before they went solar. The lease payments increase annually at a rate that is lower than the amount other utility bills increase, so the savings never stop.
When: Georgia BRIGHT is currently accepting applications and signing leasing contracts. The enrollment period is from September 26, 2023, to April 8, 2024.
Why: Until now solar has been off the table for LMI families who need monthly savings the most. They pay disproportionately more of their income for their power bills than other groups. When those bills go up without having the means to make up the extra cost, it just widens the income gap and makes it harder for them to save for emergencies.
Everyone should benefit from solar energy no matter what their income level. Georgia BRIGHT is lighting the way to a more equitable solution to climate change. For more information visit the program homepage.
* Day 1 savings and savings amounts cannot be guaranteed and will vary based on several factors for each individual home including current utility usage, roof angle and orientation; and the homeowner’s utility provider and utility rate schedule (i.e., residential, pre-pay, time-of-use, etc). These factors will be taken into consideration to provide you with an individualized estimate of your potential power bill savings.