Impacts of Rooftop Solar on Household Energy Burden

Policymakers have begun to explore various methods to reduce the energy burden, defined as the percentage of household income spent on energy expenses, of vulnerable households. Alongside more established strategies such as bill assistance and weatherization, solar energy is increasingly being considered. To help assess the potential for rooftop solar to serve in this emerging role, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has released a new study “Modeling the potential effects of rooftop solar on household energy burden in the United States” that evaluates how solar has historically performed in reducing household energy burden. This study, published as an open-access article in the journal Nature Communications, combines empirical and modeled data for roughly 500,000 residential solar adopters across the U.S. and evaluates energy burden impacts across ownership structure, income group, year of solar adoption, region, and heating fuel type. Whereas most prior work has focused solely on direct utility bill savings, this study also considers off-bill costs and benefits, including ongoing loan or lease payments for financed rooftop solar systems, as well as any solar incentives received by the household, in order to provide a more complete accounting of energy burden impacts.

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Jun 26 2024


1:00 PM

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Berkeley Lab
Berkeley Lab
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