Pilot program to aggregate home solar, storage demand in East Boston

massachusetts solar energy

Solarize Eastie was announced by East Boston this week, a pilot program to increase solar panel installation and onsite battery storage. In partnership with GreenRoots, a local environmental organization, the program uses a group buying model to reduce costs for residents by aggregating demand and securing a discounted price per watt. ACE Solar and Resonant Energy were selected to lead the installation process for Solarize Eastie.

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Additionally, Mayor Wu also announced that Boston has been selected for Mass Save’s Community First Partnership to provide cost-saving energy efficiency solutions to residents, small businesses, houses of worship, and local nonprofits primarily located in East Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan. The two programs are supplemented by American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“These partnerships embody our commitment to investing in environmental justice and energy democracy,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I am grateful to GreenRoots and Mass Save for leadership for a Boston Green New Deal.”

The hope is Solarize Eastie will start to bring the benefits of solar energy to low- and moderate-income residents. More than half of East Boston’s 45,000 residents are Latinx immigrants, and the neighborhood median income is $52,935.

Solarize Eastie will offer a variety of payment support, including a 15% discount below the average cost of solar PV installation, up-front subsidies for income-eligible building owners, and no-cost options. ACE and Resonant Energy will offer their Solar Access Program, which allows low- and moderate-income residents to install solar without any FICO score requirement or any upfront or ongoing payment obligation.

“Solarize Eastie gives East Boston residents accessibility to make real choices in the way they power their homes and community,” said John Walkey, Director of Waterfront and Climate Initiatives, GreenRoots. “GreenRoots is thrilled to partner with the City of Boston and ACE Solar to enhance energy justice in East Boston. For too long, immigrants and people of color have been left out of the solar economy and they must be centered in our energy democracy efforts.”

“ACE Solar is honored to be a part of Solarize Eastie,” said Colby Lawless, ACE Solar. “We are eager to help East Boston adopt clean energy and, through the program and partnerships, provide accessible ways to do so. Clean, affordable energy should be available to everyone and thanks to Solarize Eastie this is more of a much needed reality.”

“The Solar Access Program is an important program for limited resource communities,” says Kelsie Daniels-Jackson, Resonant Energy. “It allows any homeowner, regardless of income or credit history, to install solar and see immediate on-bill savings without the burden of an additional bill from a typical third party financier.”

Meanwhile, the Mass Save Community First Partnership is especially helpful for renters by providing energy efficiency opportunities. Participants will receive a no-cost energy assessment to identify energy-saving opportunities, such as insulation and heating and cooling equipment upgrades. Through this partnership, the Mass Save Sponsors will offer up to 100% off the cost of approved upgrades. Participants can also receive a variety of no-cost energy-saving products such as water-saving devices and programmable thermostats.

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