Meet D.C.’s newest solar leader

By Sukrit Mishra on August 8, 2022

You know that feeling you get when the sun rises on a new day and anything seems possible? That’s exactly how it feels to share the news that I’ve officially started my new role as your D.C. Program Director!

As some of you may know, my passion to support solar is nothing new. In my previous role at Solar United Neighbors I worked closely with D.C. residents to help the go solar.

Clean energy is front and center in D.C. I’m excited to work with you all to ensure there are more opportunities for solar in the future. Here are some of my goals on the horizon for the District and how we work together to achieve them.

Expanding access to community solar

At SUN, we believe in true community solar that benefits the people it serves. Community solar allows participants to benefit from solar energy, even if they can’t install solar on their homes. Community solar participants buy or lease a “share” of a system. They earn a credit on their bill each month. The size of the credit depends on the size of the share. Through solar education and SUN’s new community solar platform, we’ll aim to connect more residents with community solar options in the District and beyond.

Reaching more residents and business through our solar co-op programs

Solar co-ops are one of the key proponents of our work. By helping more people go solar in a group, we’ve significantly lowered the costs of installing rooftop solar. This has provided families with a quicker way to receive a return on their investment. Since 2013, we’ve hosted 32 solar co-ops. These have helped 741 D.C. homes and businesses get solar panels through a co-op.

The current D.C. Capital Area 2022 Solar and EV Co-op closes on August 31. Next year, we’ll continue hosting more co-ops throughout the District.

Engaging our network of solar advocates

We’re stronger than ever when it comes to our role in solar advocacy. I’ll be focused on growing our network of solar advocates. If you’re interested, please join the D.C. Solar Action Team (SAT). The group meets regularly to take actions that help advance solar initiatives. Our next SAT meeting will take place virtually on August 25 at 6 p.m. (Register here)

Cultivating relationships with key partners and decisionmakers

I’ll be focused on ways to bolster our community partnerships and foster additional relationships with policymakers to elevate solar supporters’ influence in the District. By doing so we’ll expand our reach to new audiences and enjoy new creative ways to increase access to solar.

Holding Pepco accountable for its persistent attacks on solar customers

It’s no secret that one of our top priorities will be protecting solar customers from Pepco’s unrelenting attempts to thwart the success of consumers producing their own solar energy. We’ll be focused on holding this monopoly utility accountable for overcharging thousands of low-income families who are participating in community solar.

It’s already working. Thanks to pressure from solar advocates, the D.C. Council recently announced a formal investigation into Pepco’s community solar and interconnection issues. We’ll work to turn up the pressure on Pepco to ensure they don’t get away with swindling current and future solar customers.

Let’s stay in touch

Visit our D.C. SUN web page to stay up to speed on policy priorities, co-ops, and upcoming events. I also encourage you to also join the local listserv and the private D.C. SUN Facebook Group.

If you’d just like to say “hello” or have any questions about going solar, please don’t hesitate to reach out at any time.