1. Learn about this resource. 

Residents can benefit from solar energy even if they are unable to install solar panels on their own homes. We—DC Government—offer homeowners and renters about $500 off their electricity bill annually when they get their electricity from a community solar energy project. We build community solar energy projects in DC to power buildings and homes across the District.

 

This program is called Solar for All and is offered by the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU).

2. Check if you are eligible.

You are eligible if all of these statements are true:

  • You rent or own your home in DC.

  • Your name or someone in your household’s name is on your Pepco electricity bill.

  • You are at least 18 years old (or under 18 but emancipated from your parents/guardians).

  • And if one of these statements is true:

    • Your household receives utility assistance or support from at least one of the following programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI). or​

    • Your household’s annual gross income—your income before paying taxes—is at or below the limits based on your household size. You can check by answering the two questions below.

save on your electricity bill with solar energy?

DO YOU WANT TO

What happens after I apply?


  1. Within 5 business days, we—DC Government—will email or call you to let you know that your application has been approved or if we need more information to approve your application. You can also call (202) 299-5271 to get an update on your application.
  2. We’ll check our records first to verify your income. If we need more information from you to check your income, we’ll walk you through the steps to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which also helps you pay for your utilities.
  3. Once your application is approved, we’ll subscribe you to a community solar energy project, and we’ll work with Pepco to add a credit to your electricity account. Depending on the capacity of our community solar energy projects, it can take up to 3-6 months for a spot to open. If that’s the case, we’ll call or email you to let you know.
  4. You will begin to see a credit on your Pepco bill within 1-2 billing cycles after we subscribe you to a community solar energy project.

If you are not approved, we will let you know by phone or email with information about how to switch to a solar energy provider at market rates. We’ll also let you know how to appeal if you disagree with our decision.




Are there any additional requirements I should know about?


If you would like to continue to save money on your electricity bill and receive solar energy, you must verify your household income every three years. We—DC Government—will send you a reminder email or letter three months before your current discount expires. If you don’t confirm your income, you’ll stop getting free solar energy. The reminder email or letter includes a simple form and instructions.
If your income rises above the program limits, you must email us at solarforall@dc.gov or call us at (202) 299-5971 within 60 days of the increase in your income.




Who should I contact if I have questions?


First, take a look at the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page. If you still have questions, please reach out to our Solar for All hotline at (202) 299-5271, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Or, you can email the Solar for All team at solarforall@dc.gov using the subject line “Community Solar Question.”




I still need help with my utilities. What should I do?


You can find information about other resources that might help on our utilities resources page. You can also learn more about resources to make your home more environmentally friendly.




Frequently Asked Questions


How much will I save by getting my electricity from a community solar energy project? Once your application is approved, we—DC Government—will work with PEPCO to add a credit to your electricity account. You will save about $500 a year on your electricity bill. You don’t need to pay anything extra to switch to solar energy. If you also receive or apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), you can save an additional 30% (up to $475 per year) on your electricity bill and receive an additional credit on either your electricity, gas, or oil bill. Depending on how much electricity they use, for some residents, the combined benefits of switching to a solar reduces their electricity bill to zero. Can I try to reapply for the program if I am not approved? Your income must be at or below the limits based on your household size for you to be approved for the credit. If your income changes and you think the change may make you eligible, you may reapply to the program. If I'm a homeowner and meet the income guidelines, is there another way for me to get financial assistance to switch to solar energy? Yes. If you live in a single-family home or a building with four or fewer units, you may be eligible to have solar panels installed directly on your roof for free. How do community solar energy projects work? Solar panels absorb energy from the sun and convert it to electricity you can use. For community solar energy projects, the electricity then flows into the grid, powering homes across the District. By subscribing to community solar projects in the District, renters and homeowners can save on their electricity bills even if they don’t have a roof to install solar. Are there other ways for me to save on my utility bills? Yes! DC government offers several resources to save money on your electricity, gas, oil, and/or water bills.




Do all eligible applicants get the discount?


Yes, but it can take up to 3-6 months to start receiving solar energy and saving money on your electricity bill, depending on the capacity of the community solar energy projects.





4. Gather more information.

What happens after I apply?


  1. Within 5 business days, we—DC Government—will email or call you to let you know that your application has been approved or if we need more information to approve your application. You can also call (202) 299-5271 to get an update on your application.
  2. We’ll check our records first to verify your income. If we need more information from you to check your income, we’ll walk you through the steps to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which also helps you pay for your utilities.
  3. Once your application is approved, we’ll subscribe you to a community solar energy project, and we’ll work with Pepco to add a credit to your electricity account. Depending on the capacity of our community solar energy projects, it can take up to 3-6 months for a spot to open. If that’s the case, we’ll call or email you to let you know.
  4. You will begin to see a credit on your Pepco bill within 1-2 billing cycles after we subscribe you to a community solar energy project.

If you are not approved, we will let you know by phone or email with information about how to switch to a solar energy provider at market rates. We’ll also let you know how to appeal if you disagree with our decision.




Are there any additional requirements I should know about?


If you would like to continue to save money on your electricity bill and receive solar energy, you must verify your household income every three years. We—DC Government—will send you a reminder email or letter three months before your current discount expires. If you don’t confirm your income, you’ll stop getting free solar energy. The reminder email or letter includes a simple form and instructions.
If your income rises above the program limits, you must email us at solarforall@dc.gov or call us at (202) 299-5971 within 60 days of the increase in your income.




Who should I contact if I have questions?


First, take a look at the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page. If you still have questions, please reach out to our Solar for All hotline at (202) 299-5271, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Or, you can email the Solar for All team at solarforall@dc.gov using the subject line “Community Solar Question.”




I still need help with my utilities. What should I do?


You can find information about other resources that might help on our utilities resources page. You can also learn more about resources to make your home more environmentally friendly.




Frequently Asked Questions


How much will I save by getting my electricity from a community solar energy project? Once your application is approved, we—DC Government—will work with PEPCO to add a credit to your electricity account. You will save about $500 a year on your electricity bill. You don’t need to pay anything extra to switch to solar energy. If you also receive or apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), you can save an additional 30% (up to $475 per year) on your electricity bill and receive an additional credit on either your electricity, gas, or oil bill. Depending on how much electricity they use, for some residents, the combined benefits of switching to a solar reduces their electricity bill to zero. Can I try to reapply for the program if I am not approved? Your income must be at or below the limits based on your household size for you to be approved for the credit. If your income changes and you think the change may make you eligible, you may reapply to the program. If I'm a homeowner and meet the income guidelines, is there another way for me to get financial assistance to switch to solar energy? Yes. If you live in a single-family home or a building with four or fewer units, you may be eligible to have solar panels installed directly on your roof for free. How do community solar energy projects work? Solar panels absorb energy from the sun and convert it to electricity you can use. For community solar energy projects, the electricity then flows into the grid, powering homes across the District. By subscribing to community solar projects in the District, renters and homeowners can save on their electricity bills even if they don’t have a roof to install solar. Are there other ways for me to save on my utility bills? Yes! DC government offers several resources to save money on your electricity, gas, oil, and/or water bills.




Do all eligible applicants get the discount?


Yes, but it can take up to 3-6 months to start receiving solar energy and saving money on your electricity bill, depending on the capacity of the community solar energy projects.





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Keywords: homeowners, renters, save money on my electricity bill, get my electricity from solar, income limits, solar power, electric bill, energy bill, clean energy, sustainability

This page was last updated April 2021.

Department of Energy and Environment