Thursday, February 25, 2016

Connecticut Program Makes Solar Affordable for Low-Income Families

A new program in Connecticut aims to eliminate the cost barriers to rooftop solar energy for low-income households. (Credit: Alexandra Beier/Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
Churches, synagogues and mosques across Connecticut are supporting a groundbreaking program that aims to make solar power affordable for all homeowners.

Residents who sign up to lease a rooftop solar system through this initiative will not have to pay a deposit or go through a credit or background check, some of the biggest barriers to going solar for many low- and moderate-income families.  The solar leasing costs—initially $20 a month, in some cases—are likely the lowest currently available in the state, and the country.

"It's stellar," said Rev. Carl McCluster of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Bridgeport, one of the churches participating in the program.  "In communities where there are low-income households like Bridgeport and like most urban areas...sometimes you are stretched to make ends meet." Credit checks and deposits are often impossible for these families, he said.

McCluster is also the managing director of the national network of religious groups called Faith Restoration Empowerment & Economic Development Outreach Ministries, Inc., or FREEDOM. For this solar offering, FREEDOM members in Connecticut teamed with the solar provider PosiGen and Connecticut Green Bank, an organization devoted to growing local clean energy and climate-friendly opportunities.

In the coming weeks, FREEDOM members will host informational sessions about the solar program to their communities.  Anyone who signs up at those meetings, whether a member of the faith organization or not, can take advantage of the deal.

Soaring Solar
Connecticut has one of the smaller solar markets in the country, ranking 16th nationwide in 2014 for total installed solar power.  But with this new program, Connecticut is striving to be a leader on solar accessibility.  It also helps the state get closer to its goal of generating 27 percent of its electricity through renewable energy sources by 2020.  And it does so in a way that makes solar power available to families across income levels.

Read more at Connecticut Program Makes Solar Affordable for Low-Income Families

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