Solar for All? Federal Investment in Indiana Will Help Low-Income Hoosier Families

The White House and the EPA made a big splash on Earth Day with their announcement of $7 billion in funding to make sure solar energy is available to low-income families.

The Solar for All funding is the jump-start we need to ensure equitable access to solar energy and to get the transition to clean energy moving quicker.

Solar for All is ​“unprecedented,” said Warren Leon, executive director of the Clean Energy States Alliance. ​“There’s never been an initiative anywhere near as big for expanding solar for the benefit of low- and moderate-income households across the country. This is going to give a tremendous boost to an important share of the solar market that has not received sufficient attention in the past.”

The 60 selected programs, administered by state agencies, municipalities, tribal governments, and nonprofits, will use grants and low-cost financing to develop community solar, rooftop solar, and battery storage for individual homes and multifamily affordable buildings.

In some cases, the Solar for All grants will help grow existing programs, including large ones in California and New York, Leon said. But for 25 states and territories, this will be the first time they’re getting low-income solar programs, he noted. Among the newcomers — most of them Republican-leaning states — are Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Canary Media, April 2024, “Solar is about to get a lot more affordable for low-income households”

Indiana is one of those states—and this funding could be a game-changer, both for traditional solar installations as well as independent community solar if the state’s laws are redesigned to allow for it.

Traditionally, upfront costs have been a barrier for many Hoosiers to consider solar panels for their homes. This funding will help address that by creating new incentives, such as rebates or tax breaks, that can significantly reduce the financial burden.

With a community solar law in place that allows independent, local projects to move forward, solar could truly become a reality for tens of thousands more Hoosiers. Community solar projects allow renters, those in multi-family homes and others who cannot put solar on their rooftops to benefit from solar energy by subscribing to a community solar farm and receiving credits on their electricity bills.

Overall, this federal funding is a huge step forward in making solar energy a viable option for more Indiana residents. It will lower energy costs for low-income families, create jobs in the solar industry and move the state closer to its clean energy goals.