Solar in Your Community Challenge: Apply Today!


About the Author: Caroline McGregor is the acting Soft Costs Program Manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative.

One million solar energy systems across the country are powering homes, businesses and communities with renewable, affordable and clean energy. And yet, nearly 50 percent of homes lack the appropriate roof structure to go solar. Beyond that, many homeowners simply can’t afford the upfront cost to install their own system and have difficulty accessing affordable financing options. These limitations are especially burdensome for many low income families who could benefit from lower energy costs, but don’t have the extra money to invest in home renovations.

Solar%20by%20the%20NumbersTo spur solar adoption by these communities, the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative launched the $5 million Solar in Your Community Challenge, which expands solar access to Americans who have been left out of the growing solar market.

In order to make solar energy more accessible for every American, the Solar in Your Community Challenge encourages the development of innovative financial and business models that serve low and moderate-income communities. Offering $5 million in cash prizes and technical assistance over 18 months, the challenge supports teams across the country to develop projects or programs that reach underserved customers in their communities, while proving that these business models can be widely replicated and scaled up.

Solar%20Across%20the%20US%20MapTo ensure that communities with environmental justice concerns benefit from this challenge, we have designed the challenge rules with these communities in mind. Teams that successfully demonstrate new ways of opening up solar for low- and moderate-income communities will be eligible to compete for the grand prize of $500,000.

SolarDo you want your community to participate in this challenge?

We are hosting an informational webinar to provide further instructions on how to participate! Make sure you reserve your spot by registering today.

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 7, 2016; 2 to 3 p.m. ET

Register at: 

If you have questions regarding the webinar, please contact Michele Boyd.

The early application deadline to participate in the challenge is January 6, 2017, and the regular deadline is March 17, 2017. Visit the Solar in Your Community Challenge website to learn more about the challenge and to apply today!

Given the current growth of the energy market, solar installations will continue to grow at an unprecedented rate. And we want you to be part of that bright future!

We look forward to speaking with all of you during the upcoming and we are excited to review your applications.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.