Thank you to those who signed on by February 5 to be included in our public launch event on February 11. It’s not too late to join the more than 275 advocacy and business organizations to support the 30 Million Solar Homes vision. We encourage additional organizations and elected officials to sign on and join the campaign, and we’ll be reaching out to all signers with more information and how to get involved.
Overview: 30 Million Solar Homes is a crucial part of our nation’s economic plan to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. 30 Million Solar Homes will create millions of good paying jobs, significantly lower energy costs, reduce carbon and air pollution, while expanding clean energy access and ownership to all Americans, especially to low- and middle-income communities and communities of color.
Sign-on letter text:
Dear Members of Congress,
We are writing to seek your support for a bold initiative to bring the benefits of clean solar power to millions of Americans by embracing a goal of 30 million homes powered by solar in five years. The undersigned organizations, businesses, and local officials, representing millions of Americans, urge you to incorporate the 30 Million Solar Homes Recovery Plan as a key element of any economic recovery and infrastructure bills in the coming year.
In 2021, our country must take on several major challenges:
- Recover from the pandemic and resulting serious economic downturn
- Take meaningful actions to remediate the legacy of environmental and racial injustice
- Rapidly transition toward a cleaner, more equitable distributed energy system
- Help reduce pollution in our communities, especially those which have experienced the most pollution
Distributed solar energy is a recovery strategy that can address all of these interrelated issues.
Our goal is to provide solar for 30 million homes (on rooftops and through local community solar projects) over the next five years. Further, we want to ensure that the benefits accrue to those who need them most.
30 million solar homes is equivalent to providing solar access to 1 in 4 American households. This would create at least three million good-paying, local jobs across the country. It would lower energy bills by at least $20 billion a year. This will help families with the highest energy burdens and bring wealth to low- and middle-income communities and communities of color. Putting solar on Americans’ rooftops puts money in their pockets. By focusing on the lowest income families first –– those who will turn around and spend it quickly –– the program puts more money back into the economy faster.
30 million solar homes would also offset polluting fossil energy resources. It would increase energy-independence and security. And it addresses climate change by providing 5 percent of U.S. electricity needs, while reducing air and carbon pollution by 1.5 percent of total annual U.S. emissions.
Best of all, we can meet the ambitious 30 Million Solar Homes’ goal by expanding and modifying existing federal programs and policies.
- Extending the current solar tax credits and offering them as cash grants;
- Expanding “Pay As You Save” on-bill solar and energy efficiency financing;
- Providing loan guarantees, block-grants to state and local governments, and subsidized financing for solar;
- Coordinating with low-income energy assistance & weatherization programs to further reduce and stabilize energy bills by deploying rooftop and community solar to serve low-income households;
- Supporting equitable and locally-owned community solar projects for people who rent or whose homes are unsuitable for rooftop solar;
- Diversifying the solar industry by supporting the creation of businesses owned by people of color; and
- Boosting solar workforce development programs that prioritize low-income and historically underemployed Americans.
The 30 Million Solar Homes stimulus package could deploy quickly in the heart of affected communities, and it would provide resilience to future economic and climate threats across the country. We believe that Congress should seize on the opportunities provided by solar rooftops and community solar.
- Anya Schoolman, Executive Director, Solar United Neighbors
- John Farrell, Co-Director & Director of Energy Democracy Institute, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
- Subin DeVar, Director, Initiative for Energy Justice
- Jason Edens, Veteran Low-Income Solar Champion
We will also follow up with opportunities to learn more and continue to support this effort.