Three new research reports from Groundswell are shedding light on how to make solar work for all, using renewable energy to revitalize neighborhoods and communities.
The research reveals an unexpected top priority for low-income solar subscribers.
In July of 2022, the Accelerating Low-Income Financing and Transactions for Solar Access Everywhere (LIFT Solar) team shared new findings about solar project finance, customer experience, and community solar market growth that challenge previous findings, revealing how the solar market has changed in recent years.
Funded by a research grant from the US Department of Energy, the LIFT Solar team—comprising Groundswell, Elevate, Clean Energy Works, and Southface Institute—uncovered valuable insights into how solar can be used to empower low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities.
Led by Elevate, the customer experience report showed a marked change in customer motivations for subscribing to solar, with “helping the environment” and “saving money” emerging as the primary drivers for LMI and non-LMI customers.
This research also revealed that LMI community solar is a rapidly growing market, particularly in states with enabling legislation.
Groundswell-led research on LMI solar finance models revealed the most common barriers to developing community solar projects serving LMI customers.
The often-small size of projects and the challenges of navigating affordable housing regulations were both among the most frequently-cited barriers.
Download the full reports below (PDF):