Washington needs solar policies that serve
Despite the advantages of solar energy, a vast majority of Washingtonians lack access to it.
Community solar is a proven, cost- effective solution that broadens access to clean energy and utility bill savings for families, small businesses, farms, Tribes, and public service organizations.
Community Solar stimulates local investment in solar projects and increases energy independence while promoting local economic development, reducing energy burden, and increasing environmental benefits.
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What Are We Doing to Make a Change?
Washington’s 3.2 million renters, 700 thousand low-income residents, as well as those in multifamily, shaded or old homes are unable to access rooftop solar.
The Washington legislature has committed to a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035 with the Clean Energy Transformation Act. Only providing solar to homeowners with sunny, unobstructed, new roofs and the financial resources to purchase rooftop solar is inconsistent with this goal.
Approximately one out of five households in Washington spend over 10% of their income on energy-related expenses. Furthermore, data reveals that low-income households in the state spend, on average, three to four times more of their income on energy costs compared to higher- income households. This disparity places a significant strain on the financial stability and well-being of vulnerable populations.
Our Policy Proposal
The policy establishes a community solar program aimed at increasing access to solar energy for all Washingtonians. Under the new program community solar projects will be developed and directly connected to electric utility distribution systems around the state.
Subscribers to community solar projects will receive a community solar bill credit that represents the value of their subscription’s energy generation. The monthly bill credit can offset the costs of the subscriber’s electric bill, and any unused bill credits can be carried forward month-to-month and allocated to the subscriber’s bill.
To encourage low-income participation, a significant portion of the program must be subscribed by low- income customers and low-income service providers. This ensures that solar energy benefits are accessible to disadvantaged communities.
Coalition Organized By
Olympia Community Solar is a non-profit organization with a mission to steward an equitable and accessible transition to clean energy.