La Jolla Tribe Installs Solar Power Units in Low-Income Tribal Members’ Homes
The La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians is also doing its part to protect the environment. The strong, resilient men, women, and children of this tribe have lived in this area for some 10,000 years, during which the people have enjoyed a long and profound relationship with the natural environment. That tradition continues today with the Tribe’s recent embrace of a very modern technology: solar power.
It all began in 2010 when Rob Roy, the La Jolla Band’s environmental director, introduced the tribe to GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit organization that brings the benefits of solar technology to low-income communities.To date, GRID Alternatives has installed solar power in 22 low-income family homes on the Band’s reservation.
The most recent project took place in March, when 11 students from the University of Michigan installed solar power at the homes of three tribal families through GRID’s popular Solar Spring Break program.
The Band’s pursuit of solar energy has been a great benefit to the La Jolla Band families, says Roy, who adds that the tribe’s solar power project focuses specifically on the American Indian families with the greatest need. Since having solar installed in their homes, tribal members have seen utility bills decrease by 70 to 80 percent.