Solar energy is not only for wealthy homeowners anymore; the Obama administration introduces new initiative to increase solar access for all Americans

The Obama administration introduced today a new initiative to make it easier for all Americans, but in particular low- and moderate- income communities, to purchase solar energy and lower their energy bills. The initiative translates into executive actions from the administration and private sector commitments.

Aside through some community solar gardens and electric utility projects, homeowners have been the main beneficiaries of solar energy due to the rise of rooftop solar installations. Now after a few states opened up to more community solar projects, the Obama administration ups the ante to make the renewable energy source more affordable.

You can access the full fact sheet for the new initiative here, but here are the bullet points:

The Main Executive Actions

  • Setting A Goal To Install 300 Megawatts Of Renewable Energy in Federally Subsidized Housing.
  • Providing Technical Assistance to Make It Easier to Install Solar on Affordable Housing.
  • Developing a Toolkit to Increase the Ability of States to Use Federal Funding to Deploy Solar on Affordable Housing.
  • Launching a National Community Solar Partnership.

The Main State and Private Sector Commitments

  • 22 additional Public Housing Authorities and affordable housing providers commit to install solar.
  • More than 30 member-owned, not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives in 17 states are committing to install community solar projects by the end of 2016.
  • Clean Energy Collective is announcing three new community solar projects totalling 3.2 MW.
  • Community Capital Management is committing to investing $100 million in government-assisted rental housing to help toward the 300 MW goal.

The initiative also includes a job creation aspect. The administration hopes to accelerate job growth in the solar industry through education, job training and webinars

I recommend going through the fact sheet on the White House’s website, it includes more information and all the programs, some of which you may directly beneficiate from.

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