Electrifying Homes on the Border

No one should have to choose between lighting their homes and putting food on the table. But in South Texas, this is a daily decision many make. Household energy costs force families to ration basic necessities, impacting their health and wellbeing and reinforcing the cycle of poverty. 

With support from the Sempra Foundation and Proyecto Azteca, a new initiative seeks to ease this burden by drawing on the region’s abundant and underutilized energy source—the sun.  

The project brings solar power to homes in rural, low-income neighborhoods locally known as “Colonias.” Colonias are unincorporated communities along the US-Mexico border where poverty rates are high. The average income for a family of four is $12,000-$15,000. Roughly $1,600 of that goes to the electricity bill.  

By equipping these households with solar power, the project will cut energy costs by up to 75%. The systems are warrantied for 25 years and typically last much longer. This provides significant savings over time, which families can use to pay for food, education, healthcare, and more. And as these families save, they also give back to the planet by reducing their carbon footprint through clean solar power. 

The first phase of this project includes the solar electrification of 14 homes. SELF hopes to expand the scope of this work to other communities in need. 

This project was generously supported by the Sempra Foundation. 


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SELF is a global leader in the fight against energy poverty. Since 1990, we’ve pioneered unique applications for solar energy, powering progress on food security, health care, education, gender equity, and more. 

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