Project Contacts:

Warren Leon, Executive Director, CESA,

Nate Hausman, Project Manager, CESA,

As the cost of clean energy technologies has declined, many states have become concerned with ensuring that all segments of society, including those with low and moderate incomes, can benefit. This has become especially—although not exclusively—an issue with photovoltaics, because even though solar electricity can save consumers money, many people are unable to install solar. This project shares information among CESA members about their programs and plans to help low- and moderate-income individuals and communities to benefit from clean energy. We seek to identify best practices and promising innovative ideas. We will make recommendations for possible new state programs and policies.

One of the two focuses of CESA’s DOE-funded Sustainable Solar Education Project is to provide educational resources that help states and municipalities ensure that distributed solar electricity benefits low- and moderate-income households.

Under another DOE grant, five states – Connecticut, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Rhode Island – and the District of Columbia, with coordination and support from CESA, are developing and implementing programs to increase adoption of solar among low-income residents and communities. Each state works with key stakeholders to identify approaches that are most promising, based on the state’s particular demographics, the maturity of the solar market, and other circumstances.

The Directory of State Clean Energy Programs and Policies for Low-Income Residents, which was first published by CESA in December of 2015, surveys current and planned state activities that seek to bring the benefits of clean energy to low-income residents and communities. It is updated every three months to keep track of rapidly changing state programs and policies. Read more