Low income Kentucky families get shares in solar field
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A partnership between Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Habitat for Humanity aims to lower families’ utility bills by giving them shares in a solar project.
The utility’s solar share program allows ratepayers to purchase a share of a large solar field and get a credit on their utility bills for the solar energy the share generates, WKYU-FM reports. Solar share participants can also give their energy credits to another person or to a nonprofit.
“And I hope they’ll consider this as an option as they look to make some kind of impactful contribution to Habitat and other nonprofits across our service territory during the holiday season and really all year round,” LG&E Vice President of Customer Services Beth McFarland said.
Kentucky Habitat for Humanity announced last week that it had subscribed to 180 solar shares at LG&E’s community solar field in Shelby County. The nonprofit intends to transfer the credits to 10 Habitat families across the state, which the nonprofit estimates will offset their energy usage by up to 30 percent.
Kentucky Habitat for Humanity Board Chair Lyle Hanna said the program helps the nonprofit complete it’s mission, which goes beyond just helping families own their own homes
“Families that may own their own houses, but they’re having a hard time paying for all the things they have to pay for, they’re on fixed income or they’re retired or a variety of things like that,” he said.
LG&E’ is currently selling shares in the third phase of its solar array. The first two 500-kilowatt sections are completed and fully subscribed. LG&E has said the project as a way to bring solar energy to more people in the area. However, the utility also lobbied for a change to Kentucky’s net metering laws earlier this year that environmental advocates say discourages residential rooftop solar.