A year-long effort by the Low Income Consumer Solar (LICS) Working Group culminated in the public release of the final report and roadmap. The document highlights a variety of solar project models that could engage low- to moderate-income households. The roadmap is intended to guide decision-making at the regional, state, and community level.

The LICS Working Group brought together a variety of stakeholders to study the successful integration of solar projects with utility customer service, energy assistance, and utility operations. Well-meaning projects could unintentionally add to the financial burden of low-income customers if the project does not consider the customers’ circumstances or the potential impacts of a project on other vital utility services.

The LICS Working Group documented significant variability in how community or shared solar projects are structured. Brainstorming exercises resulted in five alternative straw man models as a basis for considering the impacts of solar projects on low- and moderate-income households. The five models are: 1) baseline subscription model, 2) non-profit partnership model, 3) distributed energy resources as resiliency insurance model, 4) community solar for community action model, and 5) investor-owned utility incentives and arrearage management model. These models and characteristics of five typical households were considered to highlight the potential impacts on utility services for low-income customers, including energy assistance, arrearages, payment arrangements, bill payment, pricing and rate discounts, and energy efficiency programs.

All working group documents and recordings are available to the public.

A February 14, 2019 press release is available.

(Future: A recording link will be added when it becomes available.)

Filed Under: Solar