The N.C. Weatherization Assistance Program awarded grant funds of $128,000 today to three organizations that will provide community solar resources for qualified low-income residents.
NCWAP is providing $3,200 per home to Roanoke Electric Cooperative, Blue Ridge Energy and Fayetteville Public Works Commission for a pilot program covering a total of 40 homes. The funding allows NCWAP clients to participate in the community solar programs of these electric utilities.
“This is an innovative approach that allows low-income households to support and participate in a clean energy resource that would otherwise be inaccessible,” said Secretary Michael S. Regan of the Department of Environmental Quality. “Programs like this are key to creating a just and equitable transition to a clean energy economy.”
NCWAP will also be providing weatherization services to these single-family households. Services can include energy related health and safety, duct sealing, insulation, air sealing, lighting upgrades (LEDs), refrigerator/heating/cooling system evaluation and replacement if needed.
Fayetteville Public Works Commission will use the funding to support the participation of 10 eligible households in their PWC Community Solar Weatherization Pilot project. Fayetteville’s model operates as a prepaid subscription with accrued interest over the project life to further support the project.
Blue Ridge Energy’s Community Solar Savings Pilot will serve 10 households, with each receiving a bill credit for the energy generated by solar panels plus a rate reduction from the standard residential energy charge.
Roanoke Electric Cooperative will serve 20 homes participating in the Upgrade to Save Community Solar Program. The community solar participation will allow the households to share in the community solar garden and receive future billing credits.
Target benefits of the community solar pilot program will be approximately $365 per year per eligible household for a period of no less than 15 years.
NCWAP helps low-income North Carolinians save energy, reduce their utility bills, and stay safe in their homes. Its mission is to keep North Carolina citizens warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and safe all year long while educating the public about energy efficiency and household safety.