Guiding principles: Accessibility and Affordability, Sustainability and Flexibility, Compatibility and Integration
Barriers addressed: Cost
Consumers with limited cash reserves cannot afford to make investments with long-term payback periods. State and local rebates have successfully increased solar adoption in the general market by reducing up-front costs, in turn creating strong solar markets that further drive down prices. Rebate programs with specific focus or carve-outs for low-income participation, usually in the form of a higher rebate amount, have proven successful at expanding solar adoption in those communities as well. Many examples of successful low-income solar upfront rebate programs will be referenced in the single-family models section (e.g. District of Columbia’s 2015 Solar Advantage Plus Program and California’s Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes Program). These upfront rebates, in combination with proper support for affordable financing, allow installers and developers to structure a product offering that is attractive to low-income participants, generally at no up-front cost.