Neighborhood Sun Awarded Inclusive Solar Award for Expanding Clean Energy Access to Low- & Moderate-Income Residents across New York
Certified B Corporation’s collaboration with local civic leaders increased awareness of community solar among low- and moderate-income residents in rural New York
Columbia County, N.Y. – September 29, 2022 – Neighborhood Sun’s latest acquisition, Astral Power, earned an Inclusive Solar Outreach in recognition of how successfully its communications campaign increased awareness of community solar access for underrepresented audiences like low- and moderate-income (LMI) households, especially in rural New York communities, announced last week by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO).
The award-winning Solarize campaign was launched with support from NYSERDA and their Clean Energy & Climate Smart Communities Program to encourage community solar adoption in New York state. The campaign objective was to increase awareness of community solar as an opportunity for LMI and rural households to save 10% on energy costs while supporting local, renewable energy–all without any installations, costs, or homeownership requirements.
“Municipal leaders and trusted community leaders from Climate Smart Communities introduced us to local residents and helped organize informal gatherings where we were able to educate the residents about community solar. These meetings allowed us to break down barriers and mistrust of community solar, due in part to predatory business practices of retail energy suppliers over the past 15 years. We teamed up with the communities in Chatham, Austerlitz, Kinderhook, and Columbia County in the rural, agricultural belt of upstate New York to ensure that clean, affordable energy is accessible to all” said Cara Humphrey, VP of Strategic Sales for Neighborhood Sun, who helped carry out the campaign.
By developing key relationships with local and trusted community-based organizations, Astral Power, powered by Neighborhood Sun, worked diligently to communicate the benefits of community solar access to LMI neighborhoods.
“Ensuring everyone can plug into clean energy is critical to our efforts to combat climate change, and organizations like Maryland-based Neighborhood Sun play a key role in helping folks make the switch – especially those who may have thought they couldn’t afford to do it,” said U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD). “Through the Inflation Reduction Act, we’ve taken big steps to make it more affordable to install energy-efficiency upgrades in homes and businesses, launch community solar projects, and manufacture clean energy products here at home, all while creating new jobs in the process. As we keep working to get the word out about how Americans will benefit from this transformative new law, Neighborhood Sun and the other Solar Outreach Awardees will continue to be valued partners in helping people save money, improve their homes, and find new opportunities.”
Astral Power, powered by Neighborhood Sun was selected as a part of the American-Made Inclusive Solar Outreach Awards, an effort to recognize and share best practices in inclusive communications about solar energy. It is part of the larger American-Made Challenges program, which is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. These projects will help increase solar energy adoption and grow a diverse solar workforce. Astral Power, powered by Neighborhood Sun, is one of five winners that demonstrated success in outreach and communications.
About Neighborhood Sun
Neighborhood Sun is committed to bringing the promise of solar to everyone, not just the select few. The company is a national leader in expanding solar access to underserved communities to address energy equity. Through its SunEngine™ advanced software platform, it offers a flexible, secure and fully transparent platform for solar developers or asset owners, plus a simplified enrollment experience for customers. Learn more.
About the Solar Energy Technologies Office
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports solar energy research, development, demonstration and technical assistance to improve the affordability, reliability, and domestic benefit of solar technologies on the electric grid. Learn more.