By Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine
One of the most popular sentiments in growing the reach of the solar industry is getting limited and low-income customers
involved, usually through community or shared-living solar
programs. However, not all low-income customers are the same and no two community solar subscription models are the same. And, just like pistons in the engine driving the solar industry,
inconsistency and wiggle room can lead to trouble.
This was the issue studied by The Low Income Energy Issues
Forum in their newly-published report, Low Income Consumer Solar Working Group. The report
focuses on how varied and flexible community solar programs have the potential to improve utility services for these financially-limited customers. Read more here.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
UMN researchers incorporate solar panels in low-income housing, Minnesota Daily
A new report focusing on making solar energy more accessible may help homeowners meet mortgage payments.
“Habitat for Humanity — they provide affordable housing to
people, but even after you have an affordable home, you still have home costs like insurance … and one of those [costs] is
energy too,” said Erica Bjelland, a program development
specialist at Rural Renewable Energy Alliance. RREAL is a
nonprofit that works to make solar energy accessible to people at all income levels. The University of Minnesota’s Chan Lab partnered with RREAL to develop ways to alleviate poverty using solar energy.
Illustration by Abby Adamski