If you’re a hard-working blue-collar American, you may be wondering how you can start saving money on your bills and groceries like many of us with families. You probably already know that in most of the country, to-date, only middle and upper-class Americans could afford converting their home electrical systems to solar; and that they’ve been saving thousands of dollars every year. With the economic impact of 2020 nowhere near being in the rear view mirror, it’s time that all Americans get a fair share of the savings provided by switching to solar energy. So what do we do? How do we gain access to solar installation when the cost still seems too high for many of us even though the soft costs associated with solar installation have reduced?
Some states, like California, have budgeted monies to create new programs addressing solar for low-income households. Solar developers and utilities have also begun to develop business models that address the needs of all potential customers. “These initiatives leverage state and federal incentives to deliver free or very low-cost solar to eligible households” (Cheaper solar could benefit low-income families – Finance & Commerce (finance-commerce.com)).
So, how do you get a solar program in your state that serves everyone left out by economics? Contact “The National Community Solar Partnership™ (NCSP) … a coalition of community solar stakeholders working to expand access to affordable community solar to every American household by 2025. Partners leverage peer networks and technical assistance resources to set goals and work to overcome persistent barriers to expanding community solar access to underserved communities. DOE announced the program on Wednesday, September 25, 2019” (National Community Solar Partnership™ | Department of Energy).
The National Community Solar Partnership has three main goals, which are to:
- Make community solar accessible to every U.S. household
- Ensure community solar is affordable for every U.S. household
- Enable communities to realize supplementary benefits and other value streams from community solar installations (National Community Solar Partnership™ | Department of Energy).
The NCSP has an upcoming webinar that community stakeholders can attend live online on February 24, 2021, from 3:00-4:00 p.m., EST. The title of the webinar is Expanding Community Solar Access and Affordability Across the United States. Arizona residents will be happy to learn that their very own ASU (Arizona State University) is a partner of the program advocating for affordable solar energy access for all.
Though the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy has already cost Americans jobs in 2021, the shift has been a long time coming. Leadership at the executive level is required to make blanket changes across the nation to create positive change for our climate and our future. Now, we need to make solar energy accessible for all Americans through initiatives and create jobs to meet the demand. The two go hand-in-hand, and the vision of this transformation brings hope for jobs, economic stability, and a safe climate for future generations.