Delaware is offering free solar installations for low-income homeowners

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Low- to moderate-income homeowners who qualify can get help with the cost of installing solar panels through a new two-year pilot program from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control set to launch July 1.

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DNREC’s Low- to Moderate-Income Solar Pilot Program seeks to test future expansion of residential solar photovoltaic systems into these market segments, which have been underserved by existing renewable energy assistance programs.

“DNREC’s Green Energy Program has helped thousands of Delawareans make the switch to solar power, but installation costs continue to be an obstacle for many low- and moderate-income households,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This pilot program removes that barrier and makes clean energy a viable option for more families.”

Contractors participating in the program include CMI Solar & Electric, KW Solar Solutions and Clean Energy USA. Funding for the LMI Solar Program comes from the Weatherization Assistance Program and the Green Energy Fund.

Experience acquired from two-year pilot program by the DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy will be used to develop a statewide solar program that will provide services to low- to moderate-income homes, regardless of electric utility service territory.

Low-income households must first apply for installation services through DNREC’s Weatherization Assistance Program, a cost-free program that helps renters and homeowners cut their energy bills by weatherproofing and improving the energy efficiency of their homes. Qualified homes can receive a cost-free solar installation of up to 4.0 kW.

Application for the program will be submitted through the contractor chosen by a homeowner. Qualified moderate-income households will receive a solar installation 70% paid for by the LMI Solar Program and 30% by the homeowner for a system size up to 6 kW.

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