Solar Equity and State Policy: A Survey of State Energy Agencies
Abbe Ramanan | Clean Energy States Alliance
This report explores how state energy agencies (SEAs) are currently working with community-based organizations (CBOs) on equitable solar policy, and the barriers to successfully implement these policies. The report is based on a survey of SEAs conducted by CESA in conjunction with Energy Trust of Oregon and Kim Wolske of the University of Chicago.
“Increasing access to solar in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities is a priority for many state energy agencies,” notes CESA Project Director and report author Abbe Ramanan. “However, capacity constraints for both state agencies and local groups within LMI communities can limit the efficacy of LMI solar programs, or prevent programs from getting off the ground in the first place. In this report, we dive into how states at different levels of LMI solar policy development, from non-existent to mature, can navigate these capacity constraints to ensure the benefits of solar reach LMI communities.”
More and more SEAs are making equitable access to solar a priority when developing programs and policies. One of the best ways to ensure marginalized communities are represented in the development of solar programs is for SEAs to actively involve CBOs from these communities.
The goals of survey and resulting report were the following:
- To ascertain what factors may have led to this success and what tools or resources could support this continued success in states that have successful solar policies for LMI populations
- To ascertain what obstacles may have inhibited the development of these policies and what tools or resources could help address these obstacles in states that do not have solar policies for LMI populations
- To ascertain what may have led to this lack of success and what tools or resources could help mitigate those issues in states that have unsuccessful solar policies for LMI populations