District of Columbia’s Solar for All Program Wins Prestigious Sunny Award

(left to right) Solar For All Community Solar Program Assistant Josh Wink and Program Portfolio Manager Phillip Haddix accept the $10,000 grand prize at the Sunny Awards from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) for equitable community solar development.

Award Celebrates Equitable Clean Energy Solutions 

WASHINGTON, DC - The District of Columbia’s Solar for All program was honored with one of just five Grand Prize Sunny Awards from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) for equitable community solar development on January 19 in San Diego, California. The awards are an effort to recognize community solar projects and programs across the nation that increase equitable access to the benefits of solar for all communities. There to accept the award were the District Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), which administers the Solar for All program, and its contracting partner in implementing Solar for All the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU). The District’s Solar for All program received a cash prize of $10,000 as a grand prize winner.  

The Solar for All program started in 2016 with the goal of reducing electricity bills for 100,000 income-qualified District households by 50% (about $500 annually) by 2032. In 2019, DOEE began working in partnership with the DCSEU, administered by the nonprofit VEIC, to build single-family and community solar installations. More than 180 Community Renewable Energy Facilities (CREFs or “community solar”) have been completed by the DCSEU and its solar contractor and developer partners, with additional community solar installations to be added this year.  

“We are grateful for the recognition this award will bring to our program,” says Ernest Jolly, Managing Director for the DCSEU. “We feel it is very important to be sure the benefits of solar can be accessible to all neighborhoods and residents in D.C. and believe other cities can benefit from the lessons we’ve learned.” Added DOEE Interim Director Richard Jackson, “I am proud of the work of the Solar for All program and its commitment to help meet Mayor Muriel Bowser’s goal to provide a fair shot to all District residents to join the middle class. Solar for All demonstrates the potential for renewable energy to help lower energy costs for our most vulnerable residents, helping make the District a better place to live." 

Philip Haddix, the DCSEU’s Solar Program Manager, and Jennifer Richmond, DOEE’s solar program analyst, accepted the award on behalf of Solar for All at the 2023 National Community Solar Partnership Annual Summit. 

About the DCSEU 

The District of Columbia’s Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money. Since 2011, as a contractor to DOEE, the DCSEU has delivered financial incentives, technical assistance, and information to tens of thousands of District residents and businesses, helping them save more than $1.4 billion in lifetime energy costs. Its work is building a brighter economic, environmental, and energy future for the District. The DCSEU currently manages solar system development for the Solar for All program under contract to DOEE. For more information, visit www.dcseu.com.  

About Solar for All 

Solar for All aims to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low to moderate income families in the District of Columbia. The DC Department of Energy and Environment is partnering with organizations across the District to install solar on single family homes and develop community solar projects to benefit renters and residents in multi-family buildings. All Solar for All participants should expect to see a 50% savings on their electricity bill over 15 years and can be proud to have gone solar!  In order to be eligible, residents must meet income guidelines that ensure that program beneficiaries earn at or below 80% of the area median income. 

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