Community solar is a powerful tool to expand equitable access to the benefits of solar regardless of income level or housing type, and to provide every New Jerseyan the opportunity to choose local, reliable, and lower-cost clean energy solutions.
We need your help to make sure this legislation passes. Contact your legislator today and urge them to pass S3223/A4782 before the end of the year.
New Jersey’s Community Solar Program just became permanent this summer, and it’s already a national leader in the fight to make clean energy equitable and accessible for all. Some highlights include:
- All community solar projects in New Jersey serve a minimum of 51 percent low- and moderate-income subscribers. This makes sure the benefits of community solar are directed to the communities that need them the most.
- Going forward, all community solar subscribers are guaranteed to save on their utility bills, with a bill credit discount of no less than 15 percent. Many projects already offer even greater discounts, especially to low-income subscribers.
- Low income residents will soon be able to self-attest their income on community solar applications as an acceptable income verification method. There is no place in the climate movement for gatekeeping clean energy, or requiring our neighbors to exhaustively document their struggles in order to receive support.
But the work isn’t done yet. Legislators are considering a bill that will lock in key portions of the program. This is critical to making sure equitable community solar is here to stay.
Expanding access to clean energy is particularly important because low wealth communities, especially communities of color, face disproportionately high utility bills and exposure to air pollution from fossil fuels, often with serious impacts on health and wellbeing. These same communities stand to benefit the most from the targeted rate savings and public health benefits of community solar.
Community solar can also maximize wealth-building, community engagement, resiliency, and local jobs within overburdened communities – all of which are important parts of a democratic energy system of the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about New Jersey’s Community Solar Program, which was recently made permanent, you can read more here.
If you’re interested in subscribing to community solar yourself, you can find a local project on the Board of Public Utilities’ Community Solar Project Finder.