Delaware Will Install Free Solar Panels For Low-income Residents and Paying 70% For Moderate-incomes

​File photo by Jeremy Bezanger

A new two-year pilot program launched this month will spread the benefits of solar power to Delaware residents who otherwise would not be able to afford installing the green energy.

The Solar Pilot Program from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control seeks to test future expansion of photovoltaic systems into low- and moderate-income populations, which have been underserved in the U.S. by existing renewable energy assistance and tax credit programs.

Low-income residents can get an installation of up to 4 kilowatts with no out-of-pocket costs. For moderate-income residents, the program covers 70 percent of the cost for up to 6 kilowatts, with residents paying the remaining 30 percent.

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

Canary Media reports that low credit scores are not going to effect eligibility, and households will qualify as low-income if they live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. “For a family of three, a total income of $46,060 or less qualifies them for free solar. The thresholds for moderate-income families are the median incomes for different counties.”

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Moderate-income households must contact one of three approved solar contractors—CMI Solar & Electric, KW Solar Solutions, or Clean Energy USA. The homeowner choses one of the participating contractors, who then sends the application for the program to the agency.

The experiences logged during the two-year pilot program by the DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy will be used to develop a statewide solar program.

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