© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Connecticut Green Bank solar program expanded for renter benefits

Solar MAP is a no-cost technical assistance program that designs and helps execute energy assistance projects and provides the financing through a lease or loan, and coordinates incentives and contractors. Solar MAP is run by the quasi-public agency Connecticut Green Bank.
adam kaz
/
E+ / Getty Images
Solar MAP is a no-cost technical assistance program that designs and helps execute energy assistance projects and provides the financing through a lease or loan, and coordinates incentives and contractors.

Recent changes to a statewide solar energy program are working to create change in the state’s housing and energy affordability crisis.

Connecticut’s electricity costs are ranked as the fourth highest in the nation, according to a report by Texas Electricity Ratings.

An expansion of the state’s Solar Marketplace Assistance Program, known as ‘Solar MAP,’ will cut down on energy costs for tenants and landlords.

Solar MAP is a no-cost technical assistance program that designs and helps execute energy assistance projects and provides the financing through a lease or loan, and coordinates incentives and contractors. Solar MAP is run by the quasi-public agency Connecticut Green Bank.

The program expansion will have direct benefits for renters, Connecticut Green Bank Senior Manager Katie Shelton said.

“It is a requirement that the financial benefit of the project be shared with the tenants on site,” Shelton said. “For sites that are individually metered, it's an easy process.”

The expansion also includes several eligible property upgrades, available for buildings that are on a master utilities meter.

“Broadband Internet access is a potential improvement that you could add to the facility to benefit your tenants lead remediation or removal and environmental hazards,” Shelton said.

For tenants in buildings with individual meters, a credit will be applied to electricity bills.

Solar MAP incentivizes and simplifies the process of adapting a commercial or residential building to solar energy and instilling other environmentally-friendly features, including energy efficient windows, insulation and heat pumps, among other benefits.

In a previous version of Solar MAP, only commercial properties were eligible for assistance in switching to more cost- and environmentally-friendly solar energy.

The commercial process to upgrade energy systems was lengthy, with the application and bidding process only taking place annually, and tenants didn’t benefit from any cost reductions.

Solar MAP was expanded to include multi-family dwellings, consisting of five or more units that are affordable, with at least 60% of the apartment renters earning 60% of the area’s average income.

Through Solar MAP, more than 60 municipal and state agency projects were developed, according to Green Bank.

“Our vision is not just to use tools of finance and make projects happen, but we're really working to make more resilient, healthier and equitable communities here in our state. We've long been committed to increasing access to clean energy,” Associate Director Emily Basham said. “We formalized this commitment by adding a goal to our mission to reach 40% of investment in communities disproportionately harmed by climate change.”

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content