HUD Heeds SaveSolar's Call to Update Antiquated Solar Policy

Posted by Bennett Hanson on Apr 30, 2022 10:59:55 PM

SaveSolar makes an impact on HUD

Excellent news came out this week from the world of HUD, or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. An outdated policy which was holding back low-income households from receiving the full benefits of community solar programs has been changed.

Now, residents of Washington, D.C. who receive rental assistance from HUD’s multifamily housing program will no longer have the savings on their electricity bills (thanks to D.C.'s Solar For All program) counted against them as income. SaveSolar pointed out this unfair fact to HUD just seven months ago in a thoroughly researched report addressed to HUD (which you can find in our previous blog post about the very same issue), with the help of Steve Morgan from Clean Energy Solutions.

The District’s “Solar for All” program aims to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 families with low to moderate incomes in D.C. The recent policy change at HUD is meant to support D.C.'s program by determining that its “community-net-metering (CNM) credits will be excluded from household income and utility allowance calculations, and therefore, will not induce a rent increase or utility allowance adjustment for residents in properties participating in HUD Multifamily rental assistance programs.”

We applaud this policy change from HUD, as choosing to use clean solar energy should never come at the cost of your housing. But it’s important to remember that before this policy change, HUD had shifted the debt burden of energy savings onto landlords and tenants of affordable housing communities, only reducing the chance that they could participate in solar programs. In fact, as of 2018, only an estimated 4-8% of low-income households had enrolled in solar programs, despite the widespread growth in community solar which sets money aside specifically for low-income earners.

If the United States is really going to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, solar panels need to be on as many roofs as possible, and HUD regulations need to make that easier, not more difficult.

We’ll be following HUD’s actions closely and hope to see a similar change in support of California’s Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program and other clean energy programs in the country.

Click here to read the full announcement from HUD.

About SaveSolar

SaveSolar is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that specializes in developing community solar assets. We work with building owners to finance and build solar assets, to compensate owners with long-term revenue and to generate solar energy back into the utility. This energy is then provided at a discount to residential, low-income and community subscribers. Our mission is to help our district reach its renewable energy goals and to lower the cost of electricity.

The SaveSolar executive leadership team has over 60 years of combined experience in renewable energy markets in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. We have diversified experience across construction, finance, project management, technology and sustainability. Our expertise spans numerous countries that have previously established renewable energy programs.

If you would like to contact SaveSolar to discuss a project, please visit Rooftop Solar Lease - SaveSolar | Leasing Rooftops From Property Owners to book an appointment, or call us at (202) 846-6928 to speak to one of our Community Project Specialists.

Topics: Community Solar, Solar for All, SaveSolar, solar finance, HUD