A new residential solar push with a justice focus

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A broad coalition is pushing Congress to provide a major residential solar incentive for low-income and communities of color.

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running news: Residential Renewables for All brings together nearly 350 organizations and individual advocates, including environmental groups, civil rights organizations, and renewables companies.

  • The ad-hoc alliance is formally launching today (though it quietly began in August).
  • This includes the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the NAACP, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Black Owners of Solar Services.

how it works: They want an amendment to a longstanding tax credit for installing home solar systems and some other clean energy technology.

  • Right now the credit doesn’t help low-income people with limited or no tax liability, or who can’t wait years to monetize value under the current framework.
  • The group wants the credit available regardless of tax liability to be available as an upfront “direct pay” incentive.
  • He estimates that 26 million households, including a combined 6.2 million black and Latino families, are “unable to receive benefits … because they do not have sufficient taxable income.”
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What are they saying: NWF’s Mustafa Santiago Ali told Nerdshala it is one of the ways vulnerable communities can “those by living” by fighting pollution, reducing energy bills and giving people more control over energy choices.

  • “When we have these types of initiatives, giving people the opportunity to energy democracy, giving people the opportunity to take an active role in mitigating impacts and breaking our addiction to fossil fuels, we have a triple-win. The situation happens,” says Ali.

What will happen next: Starting this week, members of the group will expand their reach to lawmakers. They are also working with the Solar Energy Industry Association, a spokesperson said.

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