Grassroots solar education campaigns in Illinois can apply for $50,000 in state funding

solar illinois

Get this: Organizations in Illinois can receive up to $50,000 each to develop grassroots education campaigns that connect communities with the opportunities provided by the Illinois Solar for All Program (ILSFA). The ILSFA Program provides greater access to the clean energy economy for low-income communities through incentives that help make solar installations more affordable. Grassroots organizations are invited to submit proposals until March 26, 2019.

“Organizations rooted locally, with experience understanding and serving the needs of their communities, are best positioned to create and engage in unique education campaigns,” said ILSFA Program Administrator Elevate Energy’s CEO Anne Evens. “By prioritizing organizations in environmental justice communities, we will ensure that people most impacted by pollution and disinvestment are reached with the individual and community benefits of savings, clean energy sources, and jobs.”

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Program explained

Public Act 99-0906 (also known as the Future Energy Jobs Act) tasked the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) to develop the ILSFA Program and specifically dedicated a portion of the program funding to this effort. IPA Director Anthony Star noted that “grassroots education campaigns are intended to target hard-to-reach communities, adapting messaging or methods in a way that convey accessible information, program opportunities, and points of entry into the program. We are interested in seeing proposals for campaigns that focus on specific topics, such as solar basics, program requirements, or consumer protections.”

Selection of proposals will prioritize efforts that target environmental justice communities in Illinois, and that provide maximum benefit and impact to the recipients of the educational efforts. Organizations chosen to receive funding will serve as subcontractors to Elevate Energy under its ILSFA Program Administration contract utilizing funding from the IPA-administered Renewable Energy Resources Fund.

ILSFA provides incentives for solar development in low-income and environmental justice communities, offering low-income households and the organizations that serve them measurable savings on their energy bills. ILSFA solar sub-programs include residential rooftop solar, community solar, and solar for non-profits and public facilities. The program was created to promote equitable access to the solar economy, including the jobs it creates, in both urban and rural communities across the state.

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