While it would be nice to declare that solar power was available to all American households, that remains a formidable challenge that could be a long way off.

But thanks to a new Solar Affordable Housing Program, solar panels are not just for the wealthy anymore. This program to bring solar power to low and middle-income households is the creation of GRID Alternatives, a California nonprofit and licensed solar installer, which focuses on bringing solar panels to households that don’t have a lot of money to spare. The program relies on solar incentives, grants, donations and corporate sponsors to cover equipment costs. It assembles groups of volunteers to help with the installation. Among the beneficiaries of the program: a retired San Francisco postal worker who had always just assumed she could not afford a solar upgrade.

Add this to the list of great ideas that someone should have thought of sooner.

Of course, broader adoption of renewable technology is always good news, but this focus on spreading solar power from the bottom up, so to speak, makes a whole lot of sense. Not only are these the households that typically can’t afford solar equipment on their own; they’re also the ones that struggle to pay the regular electricity bill. Like that retired postal worker, who saw her energy costs drop by $70 a month after having solar panels installed on her home, households getting by on fixed incomes are the ones that are most likely to see a tangible economic benefit from going solar.