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Strategies and solutions for Solar for All awardees

Strategies and solutions for Solar for All awardees

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the awardees of the Solar for All program, an ambitious initiative backed by $7 billion in federal grants from the Inflation Reduction Act's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. This funding aims to bring clean, renewable energy to over 900,000 low-income and disadvantaged households across the U.S. through residential rooftop, community solar, and higher-end or multi-family solar projects.

We commend these 60 states, municipalities, and non-profits for securing this funding to help accelerate renewable energy programs and build an equitable, sustainable future.


Understanding the challenges ahead

These projects present a remarkable opportunity for low-income and disadvantaged communities to transform their access to renewable energy. Selectees who act swiftly and strategically will maximize the impact and make the most of Solar for All funding. Here are some key considerations for program design:

  • Interconnectivity with local suppliers and utilities: Coordination with local utilities, suppliers and contractors is crucial for smooth and quick deployment. States can increase participation by coupling their solar rebate programs with existing utility energy efficiency rebate programs. Awardees will also need to facilitate stakeholder inputs and determine how and when to leverage local partnerships.
  • Reaching low-income communities: Participation from low-income and underserved communities will require states to speak to their unique needs. Access to technology, customized marketing tactics, incentives and rebates for participation, and trust with stakeholders (customers, trade allies, suppliers) are key considerations for success.  
  • Consider demand-side potential: Focus on reducing household energy demand before expanding supply. This approach optimizes funding and maximizes energy savings across communities.
  • Ensure effective allocation of incentives: Strategically design incentive programs that reach and engage target communities to ensure funding has the intended reach with minimal excess.


Solutions and opportunities

We've compiled strategies to help awardees design programs that efficiently and equitably deploys funds to target communities:

  • Understand regulations and timelines: Review EPA requirements to avoid setbacks or missed deadlines. Create a project timeline that aligns with EPA submission guidelines, ensuring compliance and successful funding allocation.
  • Design a comprehensive program: Clearly outline objectives and milestones in the program plan. Include how you'll use incentives, establish partnerships and identify technology requirements to accelerate solar adoption while engaging stakeholders.
  • Engage communities effectively: Ensure community engagement involves listening to the needs of residents, especially in disadvantaged areas. Facilitate stakeholder involvement to develop strategies that are inclusive and culturally sensitive, building trust and support.
  • Build local partnerships: Develop relationships with local utilities, vendors and suppliers who understand the regional landscape. This network will help navigate interconnectivity and ensure smooth implementation.
  • Implement demand-reduction strategies: Start with energy-saving assessments as part of technical assistance, and consider collaborating with existing weatherization and efficiency programs.
  • Maximize incentive benefits with thoughtful design: Use tools in incentive design to enhance benefits. Strategies may include tiering incentives to target different segments, augmenting incentives with private capital and planning a gradual reduction of incentives over time.
  • Innovate with technology and policy: Pair accelerating solar incentive programs with other technologies and policies for equitable benefits. Consider integrating community solar, solar plus storage and well-conceived net energy metering approaches to future-proof the system.
  • Leverage tailored technology: Use tools for technology-driven eligibility checks, data management, analytics, and community education to improve the decision-making process. Analyzing progress data can highlight areas that need adjustments and ensure your program achieves its intended impact.


Ready to get started? 

With over 20 years of experience designing and implementing energy programs for diverse communities, we assist clients in quickly creating a successful and practical program design. We take a customized approach to understanding distinct challenges and create a plan using local expertise for a smooth and successful implementation. Working with states, utilities, and suppliers, we've been successful in coupling solar incentives with energy efficiency rebate programs to increase customer adoption.  


Thank you for helping build a more sustainable world through solar energy. 



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