Watts family receives free solar panels through nonprofit

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A Watts family received free solar panels through the nonprofit GRID Alternatives. (KABC)

Hundreds of southern California families can cut energy costs through a free solar energy program. For Jose Valtierra and his family, saving money is a priority.

They do everything they can, including cutting back on electricity. They showed us the power strips they shut off when they are not home.

Valtierra's wife, Natividad Morales, even found a free program that will help them save even more. On Tuesday, the nonprofit GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles installed its 1000th rooftop-solar-system at Valtierra's home in Watts. They are just one of hundreds of low-income families approved for the program.

"They need it the most. We don't want them to worry about high electricity bills. We want them to worry about putting food on the table ... enjoying time with their kids," said Grid Alternatives' Brian Cervantes.

Valtierra and his wife say their energy bill could now be as low as $10 a month.

"For families that are living on the edge and struggling, those dollars can really help," said Michael Kadish of GRID Alternatives.

Morales says they were actually scared and suspicious of the no-cost program.

"We don't get as many as we'd like. I think sometimes people believe this is too good to be true," Kadish said.

The nonprofit also provides paid job training and is funded mostly through a state senate bill that aims to reduce green-house gases and help disadvantaged communities.

For more information on the program, visit www.gridalternatives.org/gla or call (310) 735-9174.
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homeconsumersolar energyWattsLos Angeles County
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