Two years ago, STAT profiled the launch of our sister program, SolSmart, a U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office designation and technical assistance program that aims to help local governments reduce solar soft costs (i.e. non-hardware costs) and become solar leaders. Since then, over 200 communities nationwide have become designated “SolSmart”. Designated communities have improved their policies and practices in areas such as planning, zoning, permitting, inspection, and community engagement that influence local solar market development. Continue reading
NREL Conduit Blog
The NREL Conduit Blog discusses research relevant to state, local, and tribal governments. Contributing authors provide posts related to events, policy analysis, and decision support outcomes to inform the market in a credible and timely fashion.
May 14, 2018
Low-income residents suffer from a higher energy burden, or ratio of energy expenditures to overall household income, than higher-income households. This higher burden can result in a scenario where residents must choose between paying energy bills and purchasing other necessities. In some circumstances, solar photovoltaics (PV) can reduce this energy burden, but low-income residents face a variety of barriers to solar deployment such as homeownership status, housing assistance, and lack of financing. Some states have taken steps to address these barriers and a recent NREL report details Colorado’s low-income PV strategy and offers a blueprint for other states considering this approach. Continue reading