DOE Introduces New Solar Initiatives for Households, Job Help


The Biden-Harris administration, by way of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has launched new initiatives to attach households to extra dependable clear energy, decrease electrical energy payments and create good-paying jobs within the home solar trade.

DOE, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), has introduced the 5 states and Washington, D.C., that can help the pilot of the Community Solar Subscription Platform to attach households to solar energy and decrease electrical energy payments by way of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and different low-income help applications. DOE additionally introduced $10 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to jump-start solar energy careers in underserved communities.

“Every American community, especially those that face disproportionately higher energy burdens, deserves the economic and health benefits that come with increased access to affordable clean energy,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This is why DOE is working across the federal government to open up community solar that will rapidly lower electricity bills for households that need it most and create good paying jobs in every pocket of America.”  

HHS’s LIHEAP program retains households secure by aiding eligible households with their heating and cooling energy prices, invoice fee help, energy disaster help, weatherization, and energy-related home repairs. Transitioning to solar energy may also help households throughout the nation lower your expenses on their electrical energy payments, however many Americans have been unable to entry these advantages. Community solar, which permits a number of clients to profit from a shared solar energy system, supplies an answer for people who can’t get rooftop solar panels. DOE’s neighborhood solar goal is to power 5 million properties and supply 20% financial savings on a subscriber’s energy payments, up from 10% on common right this moment.

“I’m proud to join the White House, Department of Energy, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Health and Human Services in support of the community solar subscription platform,” says Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. “This innovative and exciting project helps lower electricity bills, save people money through expanded and streamlined access to affordable community solar subscriptions. This initiative will save Coloradans millions on electricity bills every year, reducing energy burdens across the state. That’s money better spent on groceries, on rent, or on taking the family out for fun. We are so thrilled to support this effort to save people money and accelerate Colorado’s pathway to 100 percent renewable energy.”

The Community Solar Subscription Platform is designed to attach neighborhood solar initiatives with verified price financial savings to households collaborating in government-run help applications like LIHEAP. The preliminary pilot can be supported by the states of Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Washington, D.C. These states will present suggestions, coordination and knowledge to check the operability, safety and efficiency of the platform. DOE has prioritized working with states which have present applications to help low-income neighborhood solar improvement in order that, if profitable, members will see important electrical energy invoice financial savings, together with 20% in Illinois, New Jersey, New York and New Mexico; and 50% in Washington, D.C. and Colorado. DOE estimates that this might result in electrical invoice financial savings of as much as $240 million in Colorado, $300 million in Illinois, $175 million in New Jersey, $30 million in New Mexico, $400 million in New York and $40 million in Washington, D.C.

“Community solar programs are essential to the expansion of renewable energy across the state of Illinois and the entire nation,” mentions Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker. “That’s why I’m proud to continue our state’s nation-leading work to grow the clean energy economy by adopting The National Community Solar Partnership’s LIHEAP Community Solar Subscription Platform. By supporting low-income communities who want to participate in this program, we can increase energy efficiency in the long term and provide impactful access to cost-saving solar energy for the households in our state that need it most. In Illinois, we know an equity-centric approach that puts consumers and climate first delivers results that will leave our children a safer world live in.”

DOE’s National Community Solar Partnership, HHS, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Energy Assistance Directors Association, and the National Association of State Energy Officials are collaborating on the Community Solar Subscription Platform.

“Through our participation in the Community Solar Subscription Platform project, New Jersey is helping families across the state reduce energy costs,” states New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “As an advisor to the Department of Energy on the design and function of the platform, New Jersey will have the opportunity to ensure that the platform eliminates barriers to critical clean energy resources and benefits residents most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis. It’s crucial collaborations like these that will help us provide every community member with ample opportunities to reap the benefits of a clean energy future.”

DOE additionally issued a Request for Information to acquire suggestions on the construction of the platform from community-based organizations, neighborhood solar subscription managers and builders, state and native governments, researchers, LIHEAP implementation organizations, and others. Responses are due by August 31 at 5 p.m. ET.

“New Mexico is excited to participate in this pilot program, which builds on my administration’s efforts to make solar available to everyone,” feedback New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “Our LIHEAP-eligible customers will see savings of 30 percent – that’s a gamechanger for New Mexico families.”

DOE’s Advancing Equity by way of Workforce Partnerships program will fund initiatives that help new workforce applications that convey collectively employers, coaching suppliers and labor unions to help pathways to the solar trade to recruit, practice and retain an inclusive workforce. These applications can be demand-driven, worker-centric and sector-based, and can make the most of established workforce applications and sources, be sustainable and replicable, and prioritize energy justice. By assessing the regional labor market and the present and future wants of employers, multi-stakeholder undertaking groups may also help guarantee optimum alignment between completely different coaching applications and the precise wants of trade.

“New York is the leading community solar market in the U.S. and has set an example for how states around the country can cost-effectively bring clean, affordable solar energy to millions of families who are facing the burden of rising energy costs,” says New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. “We are proud to work with President Biden, his administration, and the many partners through this collaboration to ensure our most underserved customers have access to this innovative new resource.”

In order to encourage the event of equitable neighborhood solar initiatives and applications, DOE can also be launching the Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar, a brand new awards program that can acknowledge greatest practices in neighborhood solar that improve equitable entry and guarantee advantages go to subscribers and their communities. Up to 5 finalists can win a Sunny Award and prizes of $10,000 per staff.

“When we as a nation work together toward our climate goals, we have the ability to move collectively toward a better, greener, and more sustainable future,” concludes Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We know that the implementation of community solar is critical to creating a future that promotes healthy, renewable, and sustainable living, and we are pleased to join the effort. By working with property owners, especially of multifamily affordable homes, and local businesses, we can ensure that our future is a clean and resilient one. We are proud of the work we are doing here in DC and look forward to joining in this nationwide effort.”

Image: Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash


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