Washington DC Launches Solar Installation Program for Low-Income Citizens

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Washington DC has recently created a low-income solar installation program, intended to boost the city’s renewable energy capacity while also giving job opportunities and training to low-income citizens.

Washington DC unanimously approved last June that legislation would expand the city’s renewable energy goals up to achieving 50% renewable energy by 2032. The bill iterates upon DC’s renewable energy standard substantially, continuing to set new goals beyond DC’s current goals of only 20% by 2020. The bill also establishes a new program called “Solar for All” which is designed to reduce the electric bills of around 100,000 low-income households down to half by 2032.

Director of the Department of Energy and Environment, Tommy Wells, has said that the new bill will include solar training and installation programs which emphasizes the city’s commitment “to inclusive prosperity and her continued leadership in supporting our growing green economy, while working to meet our climate change commitments.”

The Solar Foundation conducted a job census last year which found that the United States had more than 250,000 solar workers, around 1,180 of those jobs were in Washington DC. The solar sector is currently expanding at about 18% a year, and this year is expected to have a growth rate of about 26%.

The Department of Energy and Environment along with the Department of Employment Services expects that Solar Works DC will be providing training for up to 225 residents of the District of Columbia. The two agencies were granted just less than $1 million ($950,000) to implement the first year of the training program through a competitive grant process.