Advocates for low-income solar programs have an updated arrow in their quiver so they can target the market with programs that have already worked elsewhere, offering new opportunities to encourage development in underserved communities.
National non-profits GRID Alternatives and Vote Solar have updated their online tool, the Low-Income Solar Policy Guide, which they first released last year as a one-stop resource for those interesting in democratizing solar energy.
By providing a central clearinghouse for information, the organizations say that the guide eliminates the need for each individual community or organization to re-invent its own programs, saving time and allowing the acceleration of successful solar deployment to communities that need it.
“Solar delivers real benefits to families and businesses across the country by lowering utility bills, stimulating local workforces, and creating a healthier environment,” said Melanie Santiago-Mosier, Program Director, Low-Income Solar Access at Vote Solar. “This guide gives lawmakers, advocates, and community organizations the tools expand the benefits of solar to all communities through dedicated low-income policies and programs.”
Since last year’s launch of the guide, Vote Solar and GRID Alternatives say low-income solar access has improved substantially, with new policies and programs in California, Colorado, Illinois and Washington D.C., that will bring low-cost solar energy and solar job opportunities to thousands of families. New guide content includes:
- Updated consumer protection recommendations
- Colorado’s Xcel settlement and deployment of federal energy assistance funding for solar
- California’s integration of solar and energy efficiency for multifamily projects
- D.C.’s plan to serve 100,000 low-income families with solar
- New on-the-ground success stories
“State leadership on renewable energy can help drive both environmental benefits and economic growth for communities that are most impacted by climate change, pollution and unemployment,” said Erica Mackie, GRID Alternatives co-founder and CEO. “We’re looking forward to more states taking up this issue in 2017.”