EPA announces $7 billion to make solar more accessible

By Shannon Kelleher

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Monday that it will provide $7 billion to create or expand low-income residential solar programs across the country, a move the agency said will lower energy costs for roughly 900,000 households in communities that might otherwise struggle to access the alternative energy source.

The grants will be awarded to 60 recipients made up of the state agencies, Tribes and nonprofits selected through a grant competition funded by the Inflation Reduction Act. The program includes services to help communities overcome barriers to switching to solar, including assistance with siting and permitting solar projects and connecting to the grid. according to an EPA press release.

In at least 25 states and territories, the agency says the grants will launch new programs “where there has never been a substantial low-income solar program before.”

“The United States can and must lead the world in transforming our energy systems away from fossil fuels,” said US Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) said in a statement.

The “Solar for All”, which Sanders introduced, “will not only combat the existential threat of climate change by making solar energy available to working class families, it will also substantially lower the electric bills of Americans and create thousands of good-paying jobs,” Sanders said.