Baker-Polito Administration Funds Solar Projects for Low Income Residents

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BREWSTER – At a ribbon cutting ceremony, the Baker-Polito Administration today celebrated the completion of six solar photovoltaic systems on newly constructed homes for low-income residents by Habitat for Humanity Cape Cod. The project was funded by a $250,000 grant awarded to Cape Light Compact, which supported an additional nine solar projects across Cape Cod.

“Providing support for these projects demonstrates our Administration’s steadfast commitment to ensuring that all residents, regardless of income, have access to affordable clean energy technologies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By forming meaningful relationships between our state agencies and non-profits, Massachusetts is bolstering its nation-leading efforts to alleviate hurdles to renewable energy for low-income residents.”

“These projects will help reduce energy bills for low-income homeowners while expanding the Commonwealth’s vibrant clean energy economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By expanding access to clean energy technologies to more residents we can both grow the state’s renewable energy portfolio and help low-income families access cost-cutting technologies.”

The grant, awarded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), is part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s $15 million Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy Initiative (AACEE).

“Through our innovative AACEE initiative, the Baker-Polito Adminstration strives to give more Massachusetts opportunities to meet their energy needs with cost-effective, renewable solutions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By adding solar to these newly constructed homes, these residents will be able to save money on their energy bills while helping the Commonwealth meet its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.”

The funding supports solar arrays added to six homes recently constructed by Habitat for Humanity Cape Cod, addressing key recommendations from the report by reducing the overall energy burden for low-to moderate-income residents while lowering their energy bills. Cape Light Compact will place the Solar Renewable Energy Credits generated from the systems into a revolving loan fund to finance an additional 6 to 10 solar systems on low-income homes across Cape Cod.

“Safe and affordable housing is one of the single greatest social determinants,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Thanks to this innovative collaboration between the Baker-Polito Administration and other key stakeholders, we are proud to support the delivery of safe, affordable, and green housing right here in Brewster. Through this new model, we anticipate significant energy savings for the Commonwealth’s housing authorities.”

“Cost remains a persistent barrier for low-income families seeking to adopt efficient, cost-cutting clean energy technologies,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “By embracing innovative financing models, the Commonwealth is exploring opportunities to address these hurdles and increase access to clean energy technologies for residents across the state.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration is dedicated to creating a clean and affordable energy future for all residents across the Commonwealth,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “This program provides access to cost-effective clean energy solutions and economic benefits to low-income residents while supporting our nation-leading clean energy efforts.”

“We at Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod are very pleased to shine a spotlight on the solar panels that are part of our Paul Hush Way, Brewster homes, made possible by generous grants from Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Cape Light Compact, JPE,” said Habitat for Humanity Cape Cod Executive Director Victoria Goldsmith. “We particularly appreciate the special focus by these agencies towards making green energy accessible to purchasers of affordable homes.”

“Cape Light Compact saw this grant as the perfect opportunity to expand on our previous work with Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod to help fund solar electric systems on low-income housing,” said Cape Light Compact Administrator Maggie Downey. “The fifteen solar electric systems funded by MassCEC and the Compact through this grant program are benefitting both homeowners and the environment by providing a source of carbon-free, no cost energy. The Compact is grateful to MassCEC and the Baker/Polito administration for making this grant program possible.”

“Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony is a celebration of two important efforts coming together to help low income families,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “Not only will families get the opportunity to live in a new house that they helped build, they will also have cost effective renewable energy due to MassCEC’s grant to Cape Light Compact to install solar panels on all the homes. The housing complex on Brewster’s Paul Hush Way will certainly go a long way to help new homeowners build a better life for themselves and their families on the Lower Cape.”

“Community solar is a great way for our local residents to benefit from cost-saving emerging technologies while producing clean, efficient energy to benefit our planet,” said State Representative Sarah K. Peake (D-Provincetown).

The AACEE Initiative established an inter-secretariat working group among EEA and Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (HED) and other public, quasi-public, and private stakeholders that represent low- and moderate-income housing and the clean energy industry. The working group released a report in 2017 highlighting recommendations to maximize clean energy market growth in the low-income housing and homeowner community, and structure clean energy incentives to better serve low- and moderate-income residents.

MassCEC is funded by the Renewable Energy Trust, which was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1998. A systems benefit charge paid by customers of investor owned utilities and five municipal electric departments that have opted into the program funds the trust.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to growing the state’s clean energy economy while helping to meet the Commonwealth’s clean energy, climate and economic development goals. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects, and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers. MassCEC constructed and operates the Wind Technology Testing Center and the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton chairs MassCEC’s board of directors.