How does the Connector work?

First, states must individually opt into using the Connector. This includes signing an agreement with NREL and working with DOE to implement the Connector. States should reach out to DOE to express interest.

In states where the Connector is available, community solar subscription managers may create an account, indicate the states in which they work, agree to the consumer protection requirements for each of those states, and then submit their community solar projects with available subscriptions to the Connector.

The state community solar administrator will review and approve new subscription managers to join the Connector and any corresponding community solar projects to ensure subscription managers adhere to the consumer protection requirements, including savings amounts.

The state LIHEAP administrator will also verify and approve new local LIHEAP administrative agencies to create accounts on the Connector.

Local LIHEAP administrators will provide community solar educational materials to households at the time of LIHEAP enrollment. If community solar subscriptions are available, households can opt to enroll in a subscription. If they are not available, households can indicate interest and be added to a waitlist. Households can consent to sharing data securely through the Connector with subscription managers.

With household data consent, local LIHEAP administrators then upload the information to the Connector. Where possible and appropriate, local LIHEAP administrators will receive funding support for providing the educational resources and administrative needs of connecting households to community solar.

Subscription managers will then connect with households that have opted-in to community solar to complete enrollment. Subscription managers may also pay a customer acquisition fee to maintain the Connector and compensate local LIHEAP administrative professionals for their outreach efforts.

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