Solar Panels and Clouds

Clean Energy Connector

Community Solar Savings to Income-Verified Households

What is the Connector?

The Clean Energy Connector makes community solar subscriptions with savings more accessible to households participating in government-run low-income support programs, specifically Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) recipients. To get involved or learn more about the Connector please contact us.

September 1, 2021 - Flowers grow along some of the rows at Jack's Solar Garden in Longmont, Colo, to attract pollinators such as honeybees, bumble bees, and butterflies. Jack's is a 1.2-MW, five-acre community solar farm and is the largest agrivoltaic research project in the U.S. The solar project was designed and built by Namasté Solar. Photo by Werner Slocum / NREL

Development and Pilot Testing

Developed and maintained with funding from the Solar Energy Technologies Office within the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, learn more about the Clean Energy Connector on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) website. The Connector is currently being soft launched in three states – the District of Columbia, Illinois, and New Mexico – and is available to pilot subscription managers and local LIHEAP administrators in these states. New users can create accounts and use the Connector only upon request and approval by their participating state agencies.

April 24, 2021 - Meg Caley (right), executive director and co-founder of Sprout City Farms helps out during a tour at the farming ground-breaking event at Jack's Solar Garden in Longmont, Colo. Sprout City Farms is the main partner of Jack's Solar Garden. Visitors to the event had the opportunity to tour the farm, learn about agrivoltaics, and take part in various farm-related activities. Colorado state representatives Sonya Jaquez Lewis, Tracey Bernett, and Colorado Department of Agriculture Energy Specialist Sam Anderson were also in attendance to show their support. Jack's Solar Garden is the largest crop-focused dedicated agrivoltaics site in the country. (Photo by Werner Slocum / NREL)

Empowering Income-Verified Households with Solar Energy Across the Country


Developed by state governments, community solar programs typically allow participating households to subscribe to a solar system and receive an electric bill credit for electricity generated by their share of the system. Community solar can be a great option for people who are unable to install solar panels on their roofs because they are renters, can't afford solar, or because their roofs or electrical systems aren't suited to solar. Learn more about community solar here .

The Connector is a digital tool that state governments can use to help stakeholders in their states securely connect LIHEAP recipients with community solar subscriptions that provide meaningful electric bill savings Stakeholders using the Connector include state community solar and LIHEAP program offices, community solar subscription managers, and local LIHEAP administrators.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm
Renewable energy is by far the cheapest form of power and now, thanks to innovative solutions developed under the Biden-Harris Administration, more households across America can access the health and savings benefits that solar power provides... DOE's partnership with HHS will increase the deployment of community solar, helping thousands of families lower their energy bills and in turn reduce their energy burden, ensuring Americans across the nation are included as we transition to a clean energy economy.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra
LIHEAP keeps families and individuals safe and healthy by providing heating assistance in the winter and cooling assistance in the summer... Connecting LIHEAP-eligible households with the benefits and bill-savings of community solar will also have a lasting impact and provide increased economic security for families.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra

Community and Industry Benefits

The Connector aims to address barriers to community solar adoption by income-verified households and enable equitable access to community solar benefits by:

  • Protecting the consumer by ensuring strong consumer protections for community solar from enrollment through the life of the program, safeguarding consumer data, and providing customers with comprehensive and clear communication and disclosures about community solar and their program.
  • Lowering electricity bills and high energy burdens for LIHEAP-eligible households over the long-term through enrollment in community solar subscriptions with program savings.
  • Reducing customer acquisition and management costs of income-verified subscribers for community solar developers and subscription managers by connecting them to pre-qualified applicants through LIHEAP.
  • Building investor confidence in low-income community solar programs by minimizing the perceived risk and turnover of income-verified subscribers.
  • Expanding the community solar market and solar workforce to reach its multi-gigawatt potential while ensuring income-verified households have meaningful access to the benefits of clean energy

Growing U.S. Community Solar Capacity

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Increasing Household Energy Bill Savings

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This project supports the National Community Solar Partnership target to enable community solar systems to power the equivalent of 5 million households and create $1 billion in energy bill savings by 2025.

Join the Connector

At present, the District of Columbia, Illinois, and New Mexico are the only states/regions that have officially signed on to use the Connector. If you are a representative of another state and are interested in joining the Connector, please contact us through the form below.