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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

NV leaders call for clean energy investments options for all

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Monday, March 25, 2024   

Nevada state leaders held a workshop on clean energy home upgrades and discussed how people can leverage available tax credits on solar power, heat pump appliances, and weatherization projects.

State Sen. Dina Neal - D-Las Vegas - said while there are many beneficial federal investments coming to the Silver State that can help Nevadans save on utility bills, she wants to see more work being done to ensure communities of color and low-income households can tap into them.

"Typically in our community we are under-banked, under-loaned," said Neal, "so what are the chances of us getting it anyway? You have to be able to make it reachable for those communities that are already in that situation, meaning they don't have access to capital, they don't have a good credit score."

A study found that majority Black and Hispanic neighborhoods in the U.S. installed 69% and 30% fewer rooftop solar systems respectively, than majority white neighborhoods.

Neal said there are programs making a difference, like NV Energy's Qualified Appliance Replacement program which aims to help limited-income homeowners and renters replace select older, inefficient household appliances with newer, more efficient models.

Nevada Clean Energy Fund Loan Officer and Program Manager Will Pregman said organizations like his are there to help connect Nevadans and contractor businesses with incentive programs.

Pregman said among the biggest challenges in realizing clean energy investments is the high up-front costs.

But for him, it's all about being an efficient energy consumer, which he said saves money down the line.

"So it is about reducing energy usage and making that energy usage more efficient," said Pregman, "and that happens with the clean technology that is incentivized by these renewable rebates and tax credits."

Pregman said they've launched their Residential Energy Upgrade Program, also referred to as RE-UP, which was designed to create affordable financing options for clean energy upgrades and repairs for low or moderate-income Nevadans.

He contended the loans they offer through RE-UP, combined with rebates, taxes credits and other incentives can help Nevadans lower their utility bills.




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