Washington, D.C. faith leaders and consumer groups recently introduced a plan that would focus on the value and benefits of solar installations for all city residents, despite their level of income.
The Office of the People’s Counsel (OPC) on April 12 announced the “Value of Solar Study,” which examined policy and design options, and the technical and economic potential, for solar energy in the District. OPC partnered with Synapse Energy Economics and Jerome S. Paige & Associates, LLC, on the study, which highlighted the impact of the “solar divide” on low- and-moderate-income communities across the city.
OPC representatives said the study was intended to provide policymakers with a set of baseline tools for evaluating the district’s potential, policies, and goals for solar development.
The data comes on the heels of the District Department of Energy and Environment’s “Solar for All” program, which seeks to reduce the electric bills of 100,000 low-income D.C. residents by 2032.
According to research conducted by Paige & Associates, low-income residents in D.C. are strong candidates to participate and benefit from solar panel installations.
“As we know, low and fixed income consumers are frequently left out of the conversation,” said Sandra Mattavous-Frye, People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia.
She added that solar would be a great benefit to not only district residents, but small businesses as well.
The findings were announced at a press conference held at the Florida Ave Baptist Church in northwest D.C., which was one of the first small entities in the city to implement solar panels. Since installation, the church has cut its electric bill by more than 20 percent according to the Rev. Earl D. Trent Jr., the church’s senior pastor.
“We have a sacred mandate to take care of God’s creation,” he said.