Greensboro Homeowners Share Their Own Solar Savings Stories

As discussed in our previous blog, The Clean Energy Initiative CEI recently participated in the Greensboro Solar Cares Conference in North Carolina.  Stakeholders were convened, such as community leaders, residents, and local and federal government representatives, to continue conversations on advancing environmental and economic equity through residential clean energy programs.  As Henry Golatt (Co-director of CEI) stated, “Educating the local community on the benefits of solar is key as there is a perception that solar is out of their reach.”  And until recently, there has been some truth to that.  “Less than half of U.S. community solar projects have any participation from low-income households,” according to Yale Environment 360. “Of projects that do include lower-earning families, only about 5% involve a sizable share or more than 10 percent.”

While components of CEI’s mandate include education and investment in workforce training, another crucial part is to ensure affordability for the homeowners. That’s the real story behind CEI because the financial benefits to residents can make a critical difference.  In fact, energy and utility costs for many lower-income households take up a big part of their income. Across the U.S., low-income households spend about three times more of their income on energy costs than other households. Solar power can reduce those energy burdens by providing on-site power at a lower price than grid electricity.  Therefore, to make this program accessible, CEI secured funding through the generous support of the JPB Foundation for ten Greensboro homeowners to receive free solar units, each valued at approximately 15K.  Below you can learn more about each of their unique stories and the benefits they see from moving to solar energy.  

Greensboro Homeowners Share their Stories – all photos courtesy of Vince Bailey at

“We were researching solar panels so when we heard about this program, we decided to give it a try. The process has been both easy and quick from acceptance into the program to now being scheduled for installation. We recently had a surge in our energy usage that resulted in a $500 energy bill. Needless to say, we are anxious to start saving money through the program.” Diana Rosario and Thomas Harris, Homeowners Greensboro Solar CARES Project

“We were at first looking to buy a fixer-upper. We instead decided to have our house built. On top of having our home built, we learned that we were eligible to have solar added to our newly-built home.” William and Mary Scott, Homeowners Greensboro Solar CARES Project

“We learned about this program through the organization that built our Community Housing Solutions. The hand off between the various partners has been very smooth. The fact that an HBCU is helping to bring this benefit to our community is a big deal for us.” Dabrisha and Banna Moussa, Homeowners Greensboro Solar CARES Project

I like that my panels won’t be visible from the street and thus won’t take away from the curb appeal of my home. My family and friends are excited for me due to the money that I will be saving by going solar.” Delois Wynette Hunt, Homeowner Greensboro Solar CARES Project

“Having had mixed information about solar due to my exposure of my time living in Philadelphia, I wanted to get more involved and learn about solar. The classroom engagements allow me to learn with and from other homeowners who are on this journey.” Nashade Peoples, Homeowner Greensboro Solar CARES Project

“I got involved with this project through an existing relationship with Community Housing Solutions. I was interested but had questions about solar. I wanted to understand how the program could help me and and my situation. What I found most appealing is that will allow me and my family to reduce our dependence on traditional energy sources while helping us to save for the future.” Victoria Cruz Valdez, Homeowner Greensboro Solar CARES Project

“Being a retired homeowner on a fixed income, I thought adding solar to my home was out of my reach. When I heard of the program resulting from the collaboration between North Carolina A&T and The HBCU Clean Energy Initiative to bring solar to my community, I knew it was something that I would benefit from. I am so excited to be involved.” Cynthia Miller, Homeowner Greensboro Solar CARES Project

  • To learn more about how to get involved with The Clean Energy Initiative, click here.
  • To join the CEI directory of clean energy resource providers supporting low-and-moderate income communities, click here.
  • To learn more about the HBCU Community Development Action Coalition, click here.

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CEI is hiring a new project manager

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT” ACTION COALITIONClean Energy Initiative {CEI) Project Manager (PM)Job Description{Independent Contractor – Part-time Position 20 hours per week) The Clean Energy Initiative (CEI} Project

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