Solar equity and access

Solar systems installed in 2012 via DC's low-income solar program.

Solar systems installed in 2012 via DC’s low-income solar program.

DC SUN is committed to solar that is affordable and accessible to all. We have spent the last three years working to develop a Community Solar Program for DC that will allow renters and apartment dwellers to participate in the city’s solar program. This new program will expand access to solar to all DC residents.

We partner with low income housing providers, provide technical assistance to developers, and we are working to with the city and other partners to develop a meaningful low income solar program for DC.

Energy costs can account for a significant percentage of a low-income family’s budget. Solar can make a big difference, covering 1/3 to 2/3 of an average houses electricity bill and providing a long term hedge against rising energy prices. In the District of Columbia, low-income households spend nearly twice as much of their total earnings on energy than the average U.S. household, making these families particularly susceptible to high and fluctuating energy costs.

 

DC’s Current Low Income Solar Incentive Program

In early 2015 the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU) jointly announced a new incentive program for low income homeowners to receive free solar installations. The Solar Advantage Plus Program (SAPP) was allocated $1.4 Million, with the goal of completing 130-140 installations by September 2015. Here is a copy of the District’s presentation about the program at the January Solar Stakeholder’s meeting.

To learn more about the program, we recommend you:

Contact the DCSEU at:
202-479-2222 or email info@dcseu.com

May 13th low income solar info meeting held in DC SUN's office in Mt. Pleasant

May 13th low income solar info meeting held in DC SUN’s office in Mt. Pleasant

DC SUN held an informational meeting about the program on May 13th, 2015 in order to help educate the community about the incentive program and help families apply for funds through the DC SEU. Here you can find the meeting handout with additional resources on the District’s low income incentive program. The meeting was covered by the Washington Post!

Developing Policies to Support Low-Income Solar

On April 9, 2014, DC SUN and the George Washington University Solar Institute convened a daylong event at George Washington University to discuss and develop recommendations on how to accelerate the deployment of solar to benefit low-income District residents. Roughly 70 key stakeholders from the low-income housing, solar, financing, and advocacy communities, as well as the federal and DC government (including leaders and representatives from DDOE, DCSEU, DHCD, DHA, DGES, and Office of the People’s Counsel), participated.
After an engaging day of education, dialogue, and brainstorming, the diverse group of local interests agreed that a number of synergies and opportunities exist between the District’s low-income housing and energy programs and that DC could become a national leader and serve as a model on how to best deploy solar in urban low-income communities.

Resources from the Low-Income Solar Event:

Additional Resources

Solar hot water system financed, installed and maintained by Skyline Innovations on low income housing project at 1 Hawaii Ave NW, Washington DC 20011.

Solar hot water system financed, installed and maintained by Skyline Innovations on low income housing project at 1 Hawaii Ave NW, Washington DC 20011.

X
- Enter Your Location -
- or -