(BLOOMINGTON) – Indiana Solar for All (IFSA), a nonprofit project of the Center for Sustainable Living working in partnership with the Solarize Bloomington campaign, is currently accepting grant applications for solar systems from area homeowners with fixed or limited incomes.
Applications will be accepted at https://tinyurl.com/ISFA2020 until July 1.
A partnership between the City of Bloomington and the Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network (SIREN), the Solarize initiative has facilitated the installation of 1.8 mW solar capacity for 250 residents over four years. Twenty of those households participated in the IFSA program.
“The City is committed to ensuring that equity is front and center in our sustainability goals,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Through this smart partnership, Bloomington residents at all income levels can realize energy cost savings in their household budgets and also help do our part to safeguard our environment.”
Through IFSA, participating homeowners invest in their systems through sweat equity, by helping with several installations besides their own and by helping to grow and maintain the program. Volunteers who satisfy the work commitments but do not meet the income guidelines to receive donated materials can still purchase equipment from ISFA’s supplier, yet save money on installation costs. ISFA is also subsidized through the savings solar installers realize in marketing costs by participating in the Solarize group-buy arrangement.
ISFA expects to help eight households install solar this year. In addition to income qualification, ISFA selection criteria include relevant skills in construction, project management, fundraising, and communications. Households that have already taken steps to improve energy conservation and efficiency are also prioritized. Training and installation for the households that are selected will take place at a later date as per public health and safety guidelines during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Indiana Solar for All was founded to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and to make access to it more equitable,” said IFSA project director Woodie Bessler. “The price of solar installations has dropped dramatically in recent years, yet people with fixed or limited income still often cannot afford to buy in, and typically do not qualify for the federal renewable energy tax credit. They are also the most vulnerable to electric rate increases. Yet with assistance, these neighbors can secure protection from these rising costs and contribute to our community’s sustainability efforts by installing their own system.”
Applicants without internet access may request to have a paper copy of the application mailed to them by sending their name and address by text to 812-327-8514 or by mail to Indiana Solar for All c/o Center for Sustainable Living, P.O. Box 1665, Bloomington, IN 47401.