This winter, solar energy will be more accessible to 176 Colorado families that are unable to keep up with utility payments because of the $43,900 raised by the Keep the Lights on Colorado campaign.
Namaste Solar brought businesses and individuals together to support the campaign with 16 corporate sponsors and 60 individual donors helping provide community solar subscriptions to low-income families. Namaste Solar created Keep the Lights on Colorado in 2020 to honor its vision of engaging in and creating holistic wealth for the community. It’s an annual month-long campaign that raises money for Energy Outreach Colorado, a Denver-based not-for-profit, that helps families throughout Colorado afford their energy costs.
Energy Outreach Colorado gives families access to community solar subscriptions* that provide long-term stability in the form of monthly bill credits, which will reduce their annual home energy costs by 37%.
“The participants enrolled in Energy Outreach Colorado’s solar energy program are thrilled to see a reduction in their home energy costs,” said Tess Richey, director of development at Energy Outreach Colorado. “By saving money each month, and by offsetting C02 emissions through a cleaner energy source, families can focus on having a healthy and secure future. Through the Keep the Lights on Colorado campaign, we can extend affordable, reliable, and efficient energy to even more households that are currently struggling to keep their home’s electricity on.”
The community solar subscriptions are addressing an immediate need by taking a cost burden away from families and giving them the freedom to invest in other wants or needs. In looking at the long-term impacts, lower-income communities are disproportionately affected by climate change and environmental hazards like pollution and CO2 emissions. By making renewable energy more accessible, Keep the Lights on Colorado provides energy bill relief for families all while offsetting 623,216 pounds of CO2 this year, the equivalent of 710,446 miles driven by one car.
“A benefit of this campaign is putting choice in the hands of Colorado families struggling to afford home energy bills; only when someone’s immediate needs are met can choices be made that affect the long term,” said Sam Mason, Namaste Solar co-owner and commercial design team manager. “For example, if I’m struggling with basic necessities like utility bills I may not have the ability to prioritize reducing my environmental impact.”
This campaign has given 176 Colorado families access to the necessity of a safe, warm home. Namaste Solar is appreciative of all the individuals and companies that contributed this year and recognizes these corporate sponsors:
Leadership Level Sponsors ($5,000 supporting 20 families): REC Group
Influencer Level Sponsors ($2,500 supporting 10 families): Alpine Bank, Moye White, BayWa r.e., Premier Members Credit Union, Amalgamated Bank, and Studio Shed
Promoter Level Sponsors ($1,000 supporting 4 families): Conscience Bay Company, BSW Wealth Partners, Vermilion Design + Digital, Shirazi Benefits, Plante Moran, IMA Financial Group, Domoto Brands, KUNC, and The Colorado Sound
According to Energy Outreach Colorado: 1 in 4 households struggle with a high energy burden. These households are spending a disproportionate amount of their income on energy bills. The energy burden on low-income households is 3x that of higher-income households. Households that meet or are below the 80% area median income threshold are often making difficult decisions because their home energy can cost more than 20% of their monthly income.