The average cost of solar is dropping, putting it well within reach for all Americans and driving a surge in solar adoption
. However, there remains a real need for policies that effectively overcome the unique barriers faced by low-income Americans.
“Solar energy is key to the clean energy economy we’re building across the country,” said U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who gave opening remarks at an event on the Hill. He added that the guide is going to help solar “reach more families” while creating jobs
and reducing air pollution.
Along with detailing best policy and program models for expansion, the guidebook also explains the obstacles to solar’s proliferation in low-income communities and addresses linchpin topics such as consumer protection, direct incentives, on-bill financing and green banks.
“This guide really will help establish clean communities and green jobs in our communities, which is so important as we address all of the environmental injustices around the country,” said U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., who also spoke at the event. “Now we've got to continue with this progress and we've got to insure that all Americans have access to this clean energy source.”
“Solar is a technology that benefits everyone,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “By providing stable electricity prices below local utility rates, solar energy can substantially reduce the energy burden of low-income households. We’re confident that with the right policies in place, solar will continue to grow all across America, bringing with it well-paying local jobs and the cleaner air quality that every American, socioeconomic status aside, deserves.”
The Hill event for the guide also had support from U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif.; Dan Utech, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change; and Tommy Wells, District of Columbia Director of the Department of Energy and Environment.
The Low-Income Solar Policy Guide was officially launched at a Manhattan briefing yesterday. It is now available online at www.LowIncomeSolar.org