From 'Solar for All' to 'Sun4All'
4 May 2022
Proof of concept of the Sun4All approach lies in the already existing New York bill assistance program Solar for All, extended to other structural causes of energy poverty, faced by community action and empowerment.
Solar for All is a program run by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. It is dedicated to serve low-income New Yorkers and aiming at making solar technology more affordable for all New Yorkers, increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy whilst reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Accordingly, Solar for All constitutes one of the various measures and programs the state of New York is managing to support the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which is known to be amongst the nation’s most ambitious climate and clean energy laws.
The Solar for All concept is simple: Program participants save money by reducing their energy costs through access to free community solar energy. Following the objective of improving energy affordability, the state of New York keeps the barriers for participation in the program as low as possible. Irrespective of whether they are homeowners or renters, people living in the state of New York can participate, without facing upfront costs, fees or any initial payments to enter the program. The enrollment is an automatic process, which provides all eligible customers with immediate access to community solar and monthly bill savings with no additional verification process, no installation hassle and as little as possible paperwork.
Sun4All builds on the success of Solar for All, testing this innovative support scheme by implementing it in Europe. In line with the European Green Deal and the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package, the Horizon 2020 funded project offers an opportunity for those suffering from energy poverty to participate in the European energy transition, making it inclusive and socially just.
The Sun4All programme follows a two-level approach, which involves financial support through sharing the benefits gained from renewable energy generation, and non-financial support in a community environment, empowering vulnerable energy consumers to implement low cost energy efficiency measures and to cover their energy needs.
The transfer of the Solar for All concept from North America to Europe requires a detailed analysis of the differences between both regions e.g. with regards to the regulatory framework, followed by an adaptation of the scheme to the European or even national context of each European (pilot) country. Deliverables and reports published during the lifetime of the Sun4All project, will emphasize the European use cases, challenges and lessons learned as well as the observed impact of the Sun4All project approach.
The image shows a solar panel installation in the US. by "American Public Power Association on Unsplash"