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8.7.20 - DOE Solar LIFT

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Hi PAYS® Pals, here's your weekly newsletter!

Update on Department of Energy Accelerating Low-Income Financing and Transactions for Solar Access Everywhere (LIFT Solar Everywhere)

  • In 2018, our PAYS® Pals at Clean Energy Works were on a team that won a DOE Solar Energy Technology Office Grant to assess the replicability and scalability of a variety of solar financing models that could enable greater solar access, including: a private finance option similar to a utility credit structure; a “pay as you save” structure that pays for solar with shared savings; and a credit enhancement model that leverages alternative financing like loss reserves offered through foundations, municipal authorities, or public-private partnerships. The team will analyze adoption rates and performance data from ongoing projects, with an eye toward optimizing the models for scale.

  • Here's the announcement about their win which quoted Holmes: "The Pay As You Save® (PAYS®) system is already providing inclusive financing for building efficiency upgrades in several states,” said Clean Energy Works Founder Dr. Holmes Hummel, “and we are delighted to have this opportunity to develop a Solar Power PAYS solution for the first time, opening doors of opportunity to all."

  • In 2019, the team launched a three-year research and demonstration project to develop optimal program design and pricing for working families in each common regulatory and utility service environment. LIFT’s research will serve both renters and homeowners and each LIFT partner will contribute actual energy efficiency, solar, and community solar customer data to the research effort. LIFT will also gather and analyze data nationally from similar community solar programs, improving accuracy and developing strong, thriving program designs to serve low-income families. Ultimately, LIFT will create a ‘tool kit’ with a matrix of optimal community solar program elements that can help rapidly accelerate program success for cities, utilities, or solar developers.

  • In May 2020, the team published the first of the project's reports called "Customer Experience Benchmarking Analysis" where they conducted benchmarking research of existing LMI clean energy and resource efficiency programs to assess the customer experience and financial performance at the program or project level. This benchmarking research will inform and guide primary research in the latter stages of the LIFT Solar project through customer experience survey research of participating programs across the country, culminating in the delivery of the LIFT Solar Tool Kit. See this report attached below!

PAYS® And Arrearages Exacerbated by COVID-19

  • Our PAYS® Pals at NCSEA published an op-ed in WRAL, one of the staple media outlets in the Research Triangle Park, that recommends PAYS as a possible solution to the number of arrearages that have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

  • A team of PAYS® Pals (LibertyHomes, Clean Energy Works, Energy Efficiency Institute, Southern Environmental Law Center, NCSEA, and Appalachian Voices) has partnered on a funding proposal to further study the extent to which PAYS® can serve as a tool to help families emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

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