New Nonprofit Dedicated to Sharing Solar Benefits in Low-Income Communities

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Kilowatts For A Cause (KW4AC) is a new nonprofit dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment and helping low-income people by sharing the benefits of solar. KW4AC works with businesses, schools and other organizations to install solar systems and reduce energy costs. Then the group donates a portion of the savings to a local nonprofit, ensuring the benefits of that solar energy are passed on to the most vulnerable in the community.

KW4AC was founded as the nonprofit arm of Michigan-based Energy Alliance Group. Founder Scott Ringlein came up with the idea while looking to create a community-shared solar program that benefited everyone, not just those who could afford to install solar.

“Low-income households in the U.S. face disproportionately higher energy costs. Yet today, even as solar energy has become the most affordable and cleanest source of energy in history, few low-income households have access to solar or any of its benefits,” Ringlein said. “We wanted to leverage the savings from commercial solar installations to help low-income people that don’t have access to it.”

KW4AC installs solar systems of 25 kW and larger. To become a host site, a business or organization agrees to install and purchase energy from onsite solar at or below their current electricity rate. Then, KW4AC works with its partners to fund, install and maintain the solar system, with options for zero out-of-pocket costs. A portion of the savings is then donated, on behalf of the business or organization, to a nonprofit in their community. Donations from 25-kW solar projects can amount to $10,000 or more. New installations immediately impact people in the community suffering from high energy burdens. Schools and nonprofit participants can opt to have the donation go back to their organization to advance sustainability and further their mission.

KW4AC works with a variety of industries, including commercial, industrial, manufacturing, nonprofits, places of worship, Tribal lands, agricultural lands and government entities.

The nonprofit also partners with several organizations that share a passion for leveraging solar for good. Those include Mechatron Solar, Michigan Solar Solutions, Elios Solar, SolarFuze, and more.

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