Solar United Neighbors of Maryland is a strong advocate for low-income solar access and solar equity in Maryland. We are working to build projects that serve low-income communities and to create new programs or policies (like community solar) that will allow more people to participate in the state’s solar market.
In 2016, Solar United Neighbors completed a pilot project, partnering with the Fuel Fund of Maryland and Grid Alternatives, that employed a pre-paid power purchase agreement (PPA) to provide rooftop solar to low-income households in Baltimore. Learn more about the pilot project from our project brief.
Maryland’s community solar program now has a low-income carve-out. This means projects that benefit low-income households will have reserved capacity in the pilot program and are more likely to be built. If you’re interested in starting a low-income or community-based community solar project, Solar United Neighbors of Maryland may be able to help! We provide expert technical assistance to help projects get off the ground, including project design, subscriber recruitment, and stakeholder education.
- Planning for Climate and Energy Equity in Maryland – This report from the Maryland Environmental Health Network and the Town Creek Foundation examines why the state’s energy and climate policies should address equity and lays out recommendations and a framework for doing so.
- Clean Energy for Resilient Communities: Expanding Solar Generation in Baltimore’s Low-Income Neighborhoods – This report from the Abell Foundation and Clean Energy Group recommends expanding the use of solar with battery storage to enhance the resiliency and boost long-term savings of residents in low-income Baltimore communities.
- The Fuel Fund of Maryland – A nonprofit based in Baltimore, the Fuel Fund provides resources to vulnerable Maryland families for heat and home utility needs. The Fuel Fund partnered with us on a pre-paid power purchase agreement pilot in 2016, and is developing a low-income community solar program.
- GRID Alternatives – A non-profit solar installer based in California, GRID Alternatives now has a Mid-Atlantic office which serves low-income residents in Maryland. Grid Alternatives leads teams of volunteers and job trainees to install solar electric systems exclusively for low-income homeowners, providing needed savings for families struggling to make ends meet, preparing workers for jobs in the fast-growing solar industry, and reducing carbon emissions.