Updated Low-Income Solar Policy Guide Provides Roadmap to Renewable Energy Savings, Jobs in Underserved Communities

10 Mar 2017

National nonprofits GRID Alternatives and Vote Solar released an updated version of their Low-Income Solar Policy Guide, an online tool first released in 2016 that offers a comprehensive look at proven policies and program models for expanding access to solar power and solar jobs around the country. The guide is online at http://www.LowIncomeSolar.org 

For millions of low-income Americans, access to the booming clean energy economy can mean lower energy costs, jobs, and healthier communities. Taking advantage of this opportunity requires policies and programs specifically designed to address the unique barriers faced by this market segment. The guide provides an overview of those barriers; key principles that should underpin any policy; and a suite of policy tools that are currently being used in successful programs around the nation. 

"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." 

The past year has seen significant progress for low-income solar access, 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 GRID Alternatives co-founder and CEO Erica Mackie. “We’re looking forward to more states taking up this issue in 2017.” 

GRID Alternatives | http://www.gridalternatives.org

Vote Solar | http://www.votesolar.org