Solar for all in D.C.

What is solar for all?

D.C. has one of the nation’s best solar markets. We must ensure that every District resident can share in the benefits solar provides.

Solar for all in D.C.

We work with diverse D.C. communities to ensure that solar is accessible and affordable for all. And we have seen firsthand the positive impact solar can have on helping low-income families make ends meet.

Rooftop solar saves the Capital Area Food Bank about $1,500 per month, allowing them to provide 45,000 meals per year.

We are now helping to implement an audacious new plan to use solar to reduce the bill of every low-income resident of the District by 50 percent. Solar United Neighbors was selected to help implement the program by providing free solar to more than 200 low-income D.C. homeowners through solar co-ops. Households that earn less than 80 percent of area median income are eligible to get their system paid for under Solar for All.

D.C. resources

  • The Solar for All page on the District’s Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) site provides an overview of the program and includes links to the implementation plan and other documents.
  • Solar Works DC was started by DOEE in 2017 to increase access to clean energy and create a long-term pipeline for green jobs. The program provides job training for D.C. residents interested in careers in solar energy.
  • Press Release announcing $13.2 million in Solar for All grants awarded to 10 organizations to implement Solar for All, including us (under our old name, Community Power Network).
  • Solar United Neighbors put on a Low-Income Solar Roundtable with the GW Solar Institute in 2014. The stakeholder group produced a helpful backgrounder and white paper detailing the challenges and opportunities for low-income solar.

Take action

Go solar with the Solar for All program

With support from The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Solar for All program, certain income qualified homeowners may be eligible for the installation of a solar system at no cost.

Keep up-to-date on what’s happening with Solar for All

We publish periodic updates on Solar for All in our newsletter.

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History of our work on solar for all in Washington, D.C.

We are committed to solar that is affordable and accessible to all. We partner with low-income housing providers, provide technical assistance to solar developers, and are working with the city and other partners to develop a meaningful low-income solar program for DC.

2012 - The District’s Department of Energy & Environment (DDOE) and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility implements a low-income solar incentive program that put solar on 87 low-income homes in the District. Read about the results of the program.
Summer 2011 to October 2013 - We work with D.C.'s community of solar supporters and low-income housing, environment, and community groups work to pass legislation to make community solar possible.
2013 - We piloted a bulk purchase program for D.C. organizations interested in going solar. Local nonprofits, community organizations, churches, and small businesses were eligible to participate, with the goal of providing organizations with the opportunity to go solar and cut their electricity bills. Three organizations participated in the program and went solar via a Power Purchase Agreement.
October 2013 - The D.C. Council passes the Community Renewable Energy Amendment Act of 2013. This law allowed renters, homeowners with shaded roofs, tenants of apartment buildings, and others to participate in the District’s solar revolution. Learn more about the history of Community Solar in D.C.An advocate in Washington, DC, fighting for community solar
April 9, 2014 - We work with the George Washington University Solar Institute to convene a daylong event to discuss and develop recommendations on how to accelerate the deployment of solar to benefit low-income District residents. Roughly 70 key stakeholders from low-income housing, the solar industry, financial institutions, the federal and D.C. governments participate.
January 2015 - The District’s Department of Energy & Environment (DDOE) and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU) jointly announce a new incentive program for low-income homeowners to receive free solar installations. The Solar Advantage Plus Program (SAPP) was allocated $1.4 million, with the goal of completing 130-140 installations by September 2015.
May 13, 2015 - We hold a meeting to educate the community about the new Solar Advantage Plus Program and help families apply for funds through the DC SEU. See the meeting handout with additional resources on the District’s low-income incentive program. The Washington Post covers the meeting.
July 25, 2016 - The D.C. mayor signs the Solar for All program into law. The bill requires DOEE develop a program to use solar to reduce the energy bills of 100,000 low-income D.C. residents by 50 percent by 2032. Solar United Neighbors worked diligently for months to ensure that a robust low-income solar program with a dedicated funding source was included in the legislation.
October 2013 - January 2017 - We push the D.C. Public Service Commission and city agencies to implement the community solar law and develop a Community Solar program that works for all D.C. residents.
July 21, 2017 - DOEE announces 10 Solar for All awards, officially launching Solar for All implementation.

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