Solar Today Fall 2016 : Page 38
tant progress that the Department has made in a critical partnership with industry, including a formal partnership with the Appraisal Founda-tion to develop guidance on valuation of energy efficiency in residential and commercial build-ings that was launched in 2011. DOE is also part-nering with the Appraisal Institute to integrate energy efficiency into appraisals and real estate transactions and deliver education and training to appraisers through the Better Buildings Home Energy Information Accelerator, where they have enlisted the support of the Real Estate Standards Organization, the Council of MLS, Homes.com, and National Association of Realtors. o Providing Technical Assistance to Make it Easier for States and Communities to Stand Up Smart PACE Programs: DOE will provide techni-cal assistance to support the design and imple-mentation of effective PACE programs, including conducting a series of webinars and online work-shops to facilitate peer exchange and provide access to PACE experts; conducting research on the lessons learned from state and local residen-tial PACE programs , including analysis of the impact of PACE on community adoption rates of energy efficiency improvements and per house-hold energy consumption, and various program design strategies, and effectiveness of PACE rela-tive to other financing mechanisms. DOE is also working with State Energy Offices, local govern-ment representatives, residential PACE industry representatives, and subject matter experts to focus on residential PACE program design (includ-ing consumer protection options) and the devel-opment and dissemination of detailed program best practices. o Developing a Community Solar Chal-lenge: To help meet the Administration’s 1 GW goal, DOE is announcing the development of a Community Solar Challenge that will award teams in dozens of communities up to $100,000 to develop innovative models to increase solar deployment and cut communities’ energy bills, in particular in low-income communities. The DOE SunShot Initiative is releasing a request for infor-mation to gather feedback and information on the structure of challenge. Shared solar systems of 2 megawatts (MW) or less with 40 percent low-and moderate-income subscribers, solar systems that benefit low-income families, and solar for community assets, e.g., hospitals, schools, food banks, and health clinics will be eligible. This chal-lenge will reduce market barriers to solar deploy-38 FALL 2016 SOLAR TODAY ment by spurring the deployment of dozens of projects across the nation, with an emphasis on new and emerging solar markets. o Making it Easier for Low Income House-holds to Access Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Funding for Renewable Energy Investments: The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides, on average more than $3 bil-lion a year to communities across the country and includes a provision that allows LIHEAP grantees to access 15 -25 percent of their annual fund-ing for low cost weatherization and energy effi-ciency improvements. The White House recently announced technical assistance to LIHEAP grant-ees to increase their ability to use this funding to support the deployment of renewable energy. o Tracking the Deployment of Solar on Low-and Moderate Income Households: DOE, in collaboration with HUD and GTM Research, will work with the national labs to track progress on the deployment of solar energy for low-and mod-erate-income households, in particular to reach the Administration’s 1 GW goal. o Providing Technical Assistance to Make it Easier for More Americans to Participate in the Clean Energy Economy: The Administration is announcing three actions to ensure all communi-ties have the information they need to participate in the clean energy economy. • Creating a Resource Hub to Promote Energy Access: DOE is creating a cross-agency digital hub on the Solar Power-ing America website so that communi-ties, businesses, organizations and state and local governments can learn about federal resources to help low-and mod-erate-income Americans go solar. Providing Resources to Bring Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to Low-Income Communities: In the coming months, the EPA will provide additional informational resources to help state and local energy, environmental, hous-ing, and social services agencies, non-profits, and utilities understand success-ful models they can use to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to low-income communities. Current resources available on the EPA’s website include five case studies and profiles, recordings from three webinars, and a guide to EPA • programs. Providing Technical Assistance to Remote Communities: DOE’s Office of Indian Energy (IE) is announcing $7 million in funding to establish an inter-tribal technical assistance energy provid-ers' network. This program will provide Alaska Native communities assistance to develop energy experts that provide technical energy assistance and informa-tional resources to their member Alaska Native villages. o Bringing People Together to Share Best Practices on how to Finance and Overcome Bar-riers to Creating Healthier Communities: Today, the Obama Administration is announcing we will host a series of convenings across the country to expand access to financing for community solar and develop new partnerships to create healthier communities: • Convening Banks and Regulators to Expand Access to Financing for Com-munity Solar Projects for Low-and Moderate-Income Households: DOE is announcing its plans to convene local and regional banks and their regulators for a summit to identify strategies to improve and expand community solar project financing, with an emphasis on serving low-and moderate-income households. The summit will provide the most recent information on the poten-tial market opportunities for community solar, underwriting best practices, and updates on regulatory guidance. Convening a Series of Clean Energy Sav-ings for All Summits Across the Country: Working with national and regional part-ners, the White House, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Hous-ing and Urban Development, will con-vene a series of Clean Energy Savings for All Summits in communities across the United States, which began with a Sum-mit on August 9, 2016 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. These events will provide local and state officials, advocates, com-munity organizations, and interested members of the public an opportunity to develop new partnerships and learn about ways we can further reduce air pol-lution, deploy clean energy and energy • • Copyright © 2014 American Solar Energy Society. All rights reserved.