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Solar Power From Con Edison Rooftops to Benefit Low-Income Customers
There would be no cost to low-income participants, who could realize savings of up to
The company said in a filing (http://bit.ly/2f0Tzwk) with the
"We are doing our part to help make sure that all our customers, regardless of income level, have access to clean, renewable energy," said
Following the model of the state's Community Distributed Generation program that began last year, Con Edison's "Shared Solar Pilot Program" would make solar power available to customers who receive bills directly from Con Edison, and who are enrolled in the company's low-income bill assistance program. They also would be encouraged to participate in an energy efficiency program.
While the value of the solar credit will vary, Con Edison estimates that a customer who signs up for 300 kilowatt hours a month of solar energy -- the amount of energy consumed by a typical
Con Edison's filing is designed to help advance the state's "Reforming the Energy Vision" (REV) initiative, which aims to give customers more access to distributed generation and other products and services that can help them manage their usage.
Several factors have made it difficult for low-income customers to access solar energy. First, many of them rent their homes or live in multi-family buildings where they do not have control of their roofs. The upfront costs of installing solar panels and ability to borrow money can also be barriers. Of more than 10,000 Con Edison customers who have solar panels, only about 200 are in the company's low income program.
Con Edison's plan is to initially build 3 megawatts of generation to serve 800 to 1,600 low-income metered customers. The company said it has already identified eight properties -- four in
The company would use a competitive process to select contractors to design and build the solar arrays and then buy the projects from the developers. If the PSC approves the proposed pilot, Con Edison would partner with community organizations to help market the program to eligible customers. Con Edison estimates the cost of the program to be about
Con Edison already has solar panels on its headquarters in
Con Edison is a subsidiary of
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