Using Federal Energy Assistance Funds for PV to Reduce Energy Burden for Low-Income Households

Monisha Shah, David Feldman, Jeffrey Cook, Kosol Kiatreungwattana, Elaine Ulrich, Joseph Pereira, David Hepinstall, Amy Hollander, Gillian Weaver, Jason Edens

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Though the rapid decline in the cost of solar has resulted in unprecedented levels of solar deployment across the country, the majority of residential solar installations have been in middle-to-affluent households. Also, federal energy assistance programs have traditionally focused on weatherization with energy efficiency measures or bill assistance. Coupled with innovative financing mechanisms, solar photovoltaics (PV) now present another attractive option for helping low-income households reduce their energy burden. Seizing this opportunity, several states have undertaken efforts to include solar investments in Department of Health and Human Services' Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funded projects. To support these state initiatives, DOE's WAP and the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) have been collaborating with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to provide states with additional guidance and technical support to gain approval to use WAP funds for PV. Early examples of states demonstrating cost effectiveness of PV within Colorado and New York state SETO and NREL have also begun exploring how established solar business models could align with the LIHEAP utility assistance model.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2018
Event2018 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings - Pacific Grove, California
Duration: 12 Aug 201817 Aug 2018


Conference2018 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
CityPacific Grove, California

Bibliographical note

Available from ACEEE: see

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-6A20-71702


  • buildings
  • low-income households
  • PV
  • solar


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