Today (July 7) the White House announced the National Community Solar Partnership and ancillary plans in an effort to make it easier for middle and low-income people in the U.S. to have access to solar power. The White House also announced a goal of installing 300 megawatts of renewable energy at federally subsidized housing.
The White House said it was upping the target for installing 100 megawatts of renewable energy at subsidized housing since it has already surpassed that goal. It has signed commitments for more than 185 megawatts of renewable energy at such locations.
“Today, we are announcing that the Administration is tripling its current goal and setting a new goal to install 300 megawatts of renewable energy on affordable by 2020, as well as expanding the goal to include community and shared solar installations,” the White House said in a fact sheet about the efforts. The White House also is clarifying how to help such places go solar. The Administration has made other efforts to increase the amount of and access to solar power, too. Last year it announced a number of efforts to make it easier for people to go solar.
As part of that effort the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is launching a site to provide online resources, including policy guidance and other tools to help speed solar and other renewable energy deployment at affordable housing sites.
To address the needs of middle and low-income homeowners the White House said it is changing the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA)’s PowerSaver Policy. Under the changes it will be easier for homeowners to borrow up to $25,000 for solar and energy-efficiency improvements through a second mortgage.
“Key features of the second mortgage program will include: 1) providing flexible underwriting to recognize the reduced cost of utilities for energy efficient homes; 2) allowing homeowners to control the disbursement of loan funds to the contractor; and 3) permitting contributions to lower out-of-pocket expenses and/or reduce borrower interest rates,” according to a fact sheet.
But not everyone can install solar. To that end the White House announced the National Community Solar Partnership. The partnership was developed to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and businesses that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar panels, according to Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Dan Utech. The White House and Department of Energy have issued a guide to support states developing Community Solar Programs.
The White House also announced that AmeriCorps will get funding to deploy solar power and create solar power jobs in underserved communities.Tweet