Stakeholders outline path to solar access for all, significant economic and environmental benefits

 Today, Vote Solar and Connecticut Green Bank joined state lawmakers for a forum on opportunities to unlock access to solar and clean energy choices for the state’s low and moderate-income communities. Solar has proven effective in lowering utility bills, attracting local investments, and building healthier communities nationwide. The event highlighted existing Connecticut Green Bank programs and focused on the need for lawmakers to create a statewide community solar program to offer solar access to all.

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“Across New England, states are unlocking consumer savings, investing in local jobs, and reducing their impact on the climate by expanding solar access,” said Melanie Santiago-Mosier, Low-Income Solar Access Program Director at Vote Solar. “The Connecticut Green Bank has made progress towards that goal, but there’s more that can be done to ensure the benefits of solar are available to everyone. Today, lawmakers have an important opportunity to bring energy progress to Connecticut and empower local communities through a statewide shared solar program.” 

The majority of Connecticut energy consumers don’t have the ability to put solar on their own roofs for a range of economic and physical reasons: many residents rent, live and work in shared buildings, lack credit requirements, or face other barriers. Dozens of local lawmakers attended the forum, which focused on overcoming those barriers through policy mechanisms that include implementing a stronger statewide community solar program.

“The Green Bank is working to ensure that all Connecticut residents and businesses have equitable access to energy savings through our programs, strategic partnerships and outreach,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “We have several programs that target solar in low-income communities, whether it’s technical assistance for multifamily property owners to see if solar is right for them, installing solar on housing authorities, or our ‘Solar For All’ partnership with PosiGen which allows for greater access to energy savings regardless of income or credit. Since 2011 we’ve improved residential solar in low-income census tracts by 2800%. But there is still more work to do. We are also pleased to be ‘open for business’ in supporting the state’s shared clean energy facility pilot with financing availability to community solar developers. Solar is affordable, and Connecticut businesses and residents can be excited for the opportunity to save money by saving energy.”

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Vote Solar is a non-profit organization working to foster economic development and energy independence by bringing solar energy to the mainstream nationwide. Learn more at www.votesolar.org

The Connecticut Green Bank is a quasi-public state agency that leverages the limited public resources it receives to attract multiples of private investment to scale up clean energy deployment. Learn more at www.ctgreenbank.com

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