Non-profits partner to help homeowners go solar in Brooklyn


New York State has high electricity rates, and a Con Edison proposal could see rates raise further, by more than 17%, if approved by the New York State Public Service Commission. Three non-profits in Brooklyn have partnered to form Barrio Solar, an organization that aims to take some of the sting away from high bills faced by Brooklyn residents by helping them to go solar.

The campaign is open to all Brooklyn residents who own a 1- to 4-family house, and participants will receive free solar consultation from non-profits and discounted pricing through a solar purchasing group. For those who live in apartments or whose roof is not oriented for solar, Barrio Solar can connect them with local community solar projects that provide guaranteed utility bill savings.

The first 25 low- to moderate-income (LMI) homeowners that sign up will receive a campaign-specific incentive of $3,500 to apply toward the upfront cost of solar panels or roof repairs, Barrio reports. This subsidy is available to homeowner households earning up to 100% of the Area Median Income.

The non-profits that formed Barrio Solar are the Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC), Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and Solar One. FAC is a community development corporation that’s been around for 44 years. Its mission is to advance economic, social, and racial justice in New York City through integrated, community- centered affordable housing, grassroots organizing, policy advocacy, and transformative education, training, and services. FAC works to benefit over 5,500 LMI New Yorkers annually with its services.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a housing counseling agency founded in 1990. The organization promotes racial justice and housing stability for low to moderate income residents. And, Solar One runs educational programs to educate New Yorkers on the the benefits of clean energy. The organization is focused on education, workforce training, and technical assistance to fosters sustainability and resiliency in diverse urban environments. Solar One has facilitated more than 700 solar projects in the NYC metro region since 2014, primarily in low-income communities.

Barrio Solar will be hosting an online workshop on weatherization and solar on March 23 and another on solar and batteries on March 30.

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