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Community Solar: Expanding Access and Safeguarding Low-Income Families

Community Solar: Expanding Access and Safeguarding Low-Income Families

Full Title: Community Solar: Expanding Access and Safeguarding Low-Income Families
Author(s): Berneta Haynes
Publisher(s): National Consumer Law Center
Publication Date: February 19, 2024
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

Community solar, in particular, provides an opportunity to expand solar access to low-income families, renters, and multifamily building residents. The U.S. Department of Energy (Energy Department) defines community solar as “any solar project or purchasing program, within a geographic area, in which the benefits of a solar project flow to multiple customers such as individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and other groups.”
Community solar customers typically subscribe to— or in some cases own—a portion of the energy generated by a solar array, and receive an electric bill credit for electricity generated by their share of the community solar system. Community solar can allow customers or subscribers to access meaningful benefits of renewable energy, such as reduced energy costs, increased access to low- income households, community ownership, and equitable workforce development and entrepreneurship opportunities.
This report will provide states with model community solar consumer protections to ensure equitable outcomes for low-income participants. Specifically, this report will discuss existing community solar models, best practices, and state policies; the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to advance community solar through a state-managed low-income subscription software; and examples of key guardrails to protect low-income subscribers or participants and ensure substantial bill savings.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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