DNREC Seeks Contractor Applications for Solar Pilot Program

An installer outfits a residence with solar panels

 

Two-Year Program Targets Low- to Moderate-Income Households

Low- to moderate-income homeowners who have found installation of solar panels beyond their reach could get assistance with a pilot program expected to launch next year.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is requesting applications from contractors to participate in the program. Applications are due by January 21, 2022.

The 2-year pilot program expects to serve at least 50 clients per year.

Solar panels
Solar panels

The pilot program seeks to test expansion of residential solar Photovoltaic systems into the low- to moderate-income market segments, which have been underserved by existing renewable energy assistance programs. Experience acquired by the Department during the pilot program will be used develop a statewide solar program that will provide services to low- to moderate-income homes regardless of electric utility service territory.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through transitioning to cleaner energy sources is a key component of Delaware’s Climate Action Plan,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Unfortunately, for some families, installing solar panels is outside their budget. This pilot program will help us identify the best ways to help low- and moderate-income families make the switch.”

Selected qualified contractors will be required to also apply through the Green Energy Program for approval as a participating contractor as a condition of participating in the pilot program. The Green Energy Program provides grants and incentives to promote the use of renewable energy in Delaware.

The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy, which is overseeing the program, will provide a list of low-income clients eligible for the pilot program that have recently received services through the DNREC Weatherization Assistance Program. Under the terms of the Request For Qualifications, selected contractors are required provide information in their proposal indicating how they would market to and recruit moderate income households.

Funding for the program will come from the Weatherization Assistance Program and the Green Energy Fund.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov.

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Weatherization Program Helps Delawareans Invest in Their Homes

Program is Free to Delaware Families Who Qualify

It’s time for Delawareans to prepare their homes for winter weather. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control offers the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) at no cost to qualified low-income families to reduce energy costs.

DNREC encourages Delaware homeowners and renters to review the eligibility guidelines at https://de.gov/wap to then receive a free energy audit. An auditor will determine the services to improve the energy efficiency of the homes. Typical services include air-sealing, insulation, heating system repair, lighting upgrades and minor repairs that are necessary to complete energy-saving measures.

Last year, 195 Delawareans benefited from this program, with an average estimated savings of $283 per home per year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The program will now be available throughout Delaware by Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA), which had previously contracted to provide services to 200 homes in New Castle County. Following a recent state competitive bidding process, ECA is contracted to weatherize an additional 200 homes each year in Kent and Sussex counties and, at the start of their contract, has a client waiting list with 100 potential homes. ECA will use two subtractors, Eleventh House Solutions and HELP Initiative, to provide administrative functions.

People interested in receiving weatherization services anywhere in the state can contact ECA at 302-504-6111 or ecasavesenergy.org/delaware-weatherization.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov.

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