October 21, 2016—Low-income customers of Eversource in Newton, Massachusetts could see lower bills in the future thanks to the city’s new Community Solar Share Initiative (CoSSi), Mayor Setti Warren recently announced. The project, a part of the city’s broader solar development efforts, involves the installation of a solar paneled carport above the Department of Public Works’ parking lot.
The solar panels will introduce energy into the power grid and, in exchange, the city will receive net metering credits. Forty percent of those credits will be passed down to low-income households in the form of $40 to $60 credits on their energy bills. The city estimates the total bill credits provided through the program will be between $40,000 and $60,000 a year.
Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), the community action agency that administers LIHEAP in the Boston area, has identified over 1,250 households that would qualify for the credit. According to a city press release, any Newton residents who already receive electric discount rates from Eversource will automatically qualify for the solar credit. ABCD will send out letters within the next two weeks to notify those who have been identified. Customers will be able to opt out if they don’t wish for the city to receive their account numbers from Eversource. Customers’ household income must fall below the 60% of the state median income to qualify.
The solar paneled carport is expected to be completed by January. Credits will begin to show up on customers’ bills in the months following.
Sources: Press release, media reports, LIHEAP Clearinghouse