Delaware will install free solar panels for low-income residents and pay 70% for moderate incomes

File photo of Jeremy Bezanger

A new two-year pilot program launched this month will extend the benefits of solar power to Delaware residents who otherwise could not afford to install green power.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Solar Pilot Program aims to test the future expansion of photovoltaic systems in low- and middle-income populations, which have been underserved in the United States by existing programs support for renewable energies and tax credits.

Low-income residents can get an installation of up to 4 kilowatts at no cost. For low-income residents, the program covers 70% of the cost up to 6 kilowatts, with residents paying the remaining 30%.

Low-income households must first apply through DNREC’s Weatherization Assistance Program (at 302-504-6111), which helps renters and homeowners lower their energy bills .

Canarian media reports that low credit scores will not affect eligibility, and households will be considered low income if they live at 200% or less of the federal poverty guidelines. “For a family of three, a total income of $46,060 or less qualifies them for free solar power. The thresholds for moderate income families are the median incomes of the different counties.

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Low-income households should contact one of three licensed solar contractors: CMI Solar & Electric, KW Solar Solutions, or Clean Energy USA. The owner choose one of the participating entrepreneurswhich then sends the program request to the agency.

Experiences recorded during the two-year pilot program by DNREC’s Climate, Coastal and Energy Division will be used to develop a statewide solar program.

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Julio V. Miller