We believe that successful policy emerges from real-world practice and we are committed to use our experience to shape effective policies that serve low-income communities. For example, through our solar work, we recognized that solar incentive programs were focused on rooftop solar systems, primarily for homeowners who could take advantage of federal income tax incentives. This leaves out households who do not have a federal income tax liability and those, such as tenants, who cannot put solar on their own roofs; both groups are disproportionately low-income residents. In response, we created a pilot community solar project that eliminates complex tax and financing requirements and provides savings for low-income households who could not otherwise access solar power.
In 2021, we celebrated years of clean energy advocacy when Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a landmark climate bill. The new law, which is based on our pilot, removes barriers to affordable solar energy for low-income households and invites people of all incomes to be part of the solution.
We advocate tirelessly for policies that both solve the energy problems facing low-income households and help spawn new green markets. Our community solar pilot and our advocacy work around the Massachusetts climate bill establishes a model that we are sharing with our CDFI peers and low-income solar advocates around the country and elements of our pilot have been included in pending federal climate legislation.
What drives us? Our steadfast belief that the communities we serve not only stand to benefit the most but have the potential to lead every community toward a more sustainable future.
We build on our expertise in solar power to bring the benefits of sustainability to affordable housing and nonprofit facilities by:
- Investing in green technologies like WegoWise utility tracking software for multi-tenant buildings
- Exploring healthier and more cost-effective building materials
- Developing pilots for emerging new energy markets
The goal is better buildings—cheaper to operate, easier to manage, healthier to live in and a source of pride for the people who live in and around them.
Our clean energy impact