Category: Residential Generation
Low-to-moderate income (LMI) households have long faced significant barriers to accessing the benefits of residential solar, leaving nearly half of U.S. rooftop solar technical potential untapped . As innovative policies, programs, and financing strategies have begun to reduce these barriers, this presentation and panel discussion will bring together leaders in research, program implementation, residential solar installation, investment, and policy to discuss approaches to increasing low-to-moderate income households’ access to residential solar.
Participants will see a live demonstration of the Solar For All mapping tool developed by the National Renewable Energy Lab , research on low-income solar adopters in California, and novel insights from predictive modeling of adoption and referrals. The core of the session will be a conversation among GRID Alternatives, Sunrun, and an investor (such as US Bank) on their work investing in, partnering in, and installing solar in low-to-moderate income communities. This conversation will be followed by a short policy talk from Vote Solar, highlighting innovations that have supported LMI solar adoption  and in turn the health of the overall residential solar market. The moderator will close the session with an engaging conversation among panelists, guided by audience questions.
Attendees will leave with knowledge of publicly available data sources that can be leveraged for better customer targeting. Policy-oriented attendees will hear from advocates about state- and city- level policies to improve solar access, such as the Denver Housing Authority low-income program and California’s Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program . Investment-oriented attendees will learn about leading models for engaging in low-income markets . They will hear from practitioners well-versed in effective engagement and outreach strategies for LMI communities, and they will hear from solar energy investors who see a strong business case in advancing LMI access to residential solar nationwide.
 Sigrin, Ben, and Mooney, Meghan. 2018. Rooftop Solar Technical Potential for Low-to-Moderate Income Households in the United States. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A20- 70901. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy18osti/70901.pdf.
 Mooney, Meghan and Sigrin, Ben, 2018. Solar For All web map. https://maps.nrel.gov/solar-for-all/
 GRID Alternatives and Vote Solar, Low Income Solar Policy Guide. https://www.lowincomesolar.org/, also highlighted in SEIA research resources: https://www.seia.org/research-resources/low-income-solar-policy-guide
 Mendelsohn, Mike. 2018. Expanding Solar Availability to the Low-Income Community: Learnings from the Denver Housing Authority. Solar Energy Industries Association blog. https://www.seia.org/blog/expanding-solar-availability-low-income-community-learnings-denver-housing-authority
 SEIA Webinar: Inclusive Solar Financing for Low-Income Solar. December 12, 2018. Slides: https://www.seia.org/sites/default/files/2018-12/SEIA%20Webinar%2012.12.18-compressed.pdf
Sarah Bucci– Public Relations Officer, GRID Alternatives