Low to moderate income (LMI) means any census district (or equivalent geographical area defined by the Census Bureau) in which at least 50% of households have an income below 60 percent of the area's median gross income (AMGI) or that has a poverty rate of at least 25%. In addition to installing photovoltaic systems, DAC-SASH helps enroll LMI homeowners in utility companies' energy-saving assistance programs and trains volunteers. In addition, the state Office of Energy Resources is working with LMI communities to find out how community solar developers can better meet the needs of LMI customers and spread the word about the benefits of community solar energy. Preference is given to “high-impact properties,” such as properties financed by U.S.
Housing and Urban Development, properties funded by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, developments insured by the Federal Housing Administration, properties in LMI geographies, and development complexes oriented to public transportation. The program is available to LMI customers who are residents and owners of single-family homes in disadvantaged communities. The Minnesota Department of Commerce led the project for Minnesota as part of an award from the United States Department of Energy that included four other states (Connecticut, New Mexico, Oregon and Rhode Island) and the District of Columbia to develop and implement strategies to increase market penetration of photovoltaic energy among LMI residents and communities. The program stipulates that 30 percent of solar capacity must be associated with LMI projects and that 10 percent of the energy from each LMI solar project is destined exclusively to low-income participants.
The Multi-Family Energy Program for Low-Income People (LIME) finances energy efficiency and renewable energy in LMI multifamily properties with loan terms of up to 20 years. The program is designed so that households with higher incomes are eligible for higher repayments per displaced natural gas thermal unit than households with higher incomes. The HGIA was created by the Legislature to make investments in clean energy accessible and affordable to a wider sample of Hawaii's utility taxpayers, and a portion of its funding would be used to benefit underserved communities, LMI households, tenants and non-profit organizations. The Affordable Solar program, a component of NY-Sun, provides LMI residents with assistance in developing solar projects.
Legislation (AB 79) requires that 50 percent of the total program budget be set aside for the installation of solar thermal systems in residential homes in the LMI or in buildings in disadvantaged communities. Through Community Solar's LMI-PPA Grant Program, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) awards grants to subscriber organizations that offer favorable terms to LMI subscribers. The Community Solar Pilot Program is administered by the California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) to provide solar energy benefits to LMI homes. The state has created an incentive program, called Community Renewables, which aims to increase the number of LMI residents participating in the CRNM program.
Grants under this program help community organizations develop programs that benefit LMI residents through solar technology. To be eligible for the high LMI incentive, solar energy companies must submit the prices of the proposed products, the marketing strategy and the qualifications, and agree to comply with the program's rules. .