ISFA partners with solarize programs throughout the state to assist low- and moderate income (LMI) households install solar power for their homes. As resources allow, ISFA will provide solar equipment free or at a reduced cost to qualified homeowners, train volunteers to install the panels, and assist (as needed) with additional solar system costs (permits, electrician fees, etc.) ISFA will NOT provide roof repairs or replacements, wiring upgrades, or other improvements. Participating homeowners will be required to provide “sweat equity” by volunteering for the program, and to pay any expenses they are able to cover.
To qualify for assistance, homeowners must meet the following requirements, explained below:
- Reside within the territory of a participating solarize initiative
- Own a home suitable for solar
- Demonstrate a commitment to energy conservation and efficiency
- Meet income requirements for LMI households, as defined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Agree to provide “sweat equity” by volunteering for ISFA for an agreed-upon number of hours
- Pay expenses as able
Participating solarize initiatives:
Currently, ISFA is working with Bloomington Solarize Initiative Phase 2, which serves Bloomington and surrounding counties (Monroe, Greene, Lawrence, Morgan, Orange, and Owen). Additional initiatives may be developed in 2018 and beyond.
Solar panels last for 30 years or more, so it’s important to make sure your roof is going to hold up, too. Roofs should be less than 10 years old and in good shape. The pitch and other factors affecting accessibility will determine whether volunteers can safely install panels on your roof. Shading and orientation also effect the suitability of your home for solar energy.
Energy Conservation & Efficiency:
To help ensure that electricity generated by solar arrays will not be wasted, priority will be given to households that have taken steps to improve energy conservation and efficiency. This includes adding attic insulation, weatherizing windows and doors, updating furnace/AC units and large appliances like refrigerators, adjusting the thermostat (colder in winter, warmer in summer) to use less heat and air conditioning, and more. Assistance with conservation and efficiency may be available through South Central Community Action Program, Monroe County Energy Challenge, your utility company, and others.
HUD defines low- and moderate- income (LMI) households as those with 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI). For Monroe County, that means income limits are as follows, depending upon the number of people in the household:
Number of People: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
80% AMI: $34,950 $39,950 $44,950 $49,900 $53,900 $57,900 $61,900 $65,900
To view a table for showing income limits for all counties in the Bloomington Solarize territory, click here.
All recipients will be required to provide volunteer hours to help further the mission of ISFA. For some, this will mean actually helping to install panels on their own home and others’ (training will be provided). Other tasks include helping with outreach and publicity, recruiting and managing volunteers, weatherizing homes, and performing site assessments. Because this is a new program, the first several participants will help us determine reasonable expectations for hours and tasks.
The goal of Solar for All is to help as many households as possible “go solar.” Therefore, we ask that participants contribute as much as they are able to their own solar installations. Since the solar equipment will be donated and installations will be done primarily by volunteers, each installation could cost as little as $1,000 – $1,500 (for permits, array design, electrical work, and consultation with solar contractors). If needed, and as funds allow, SFA will pay all or part of those additional costs with the understanding that the homeowner will repay the organization in monthly installments equivalent to (or less than) their utility bill savings, for a specified amount of time. Details will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
A complete application process will be available on this site soon. To express your interest and add your name to the waiting list, please fill out our pre-screening questionnaire.