ISFA currently partners with the Bloomington Solarize program, primarily 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. Those who do not meet the income qualifications for panel subsidies may still participate, purchasing solar equipment from our supplier and installing them with volunteer labor, as long as all other requirements are met.
To qualify for a solar installation with ISFA, 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)* OR purchase solar equipment from our supplier
- Agree to provide “sweat equity” by volunteering for ISFA for an agreed-upon number of hours
- Pay expenses as able
*Income requirements only apply to those seeking subsidies for solar equipment.
Participating solarize initiatives:
Currently, ISFA is working with the Solarize Bloomington program, which serves Bloomington and surrounding counties (Monroe, Greene, Lawrence, Morgan, Orange, and Owen). Additional initiatives may be developed in the future.
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.
ISFA subsidizes the cost of solar equipment for those with 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI). For Monroe County, that means 2018 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: $41,350 $47,250 $53,150 $59,050 $63,800 $68,500 $73,250 $77,950
All recipients will be required to provide volunteer hours to help further the mission of ISFA. This includes 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.
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. Details will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Program Participation & Expectations
Participation in ISFA requires a significant commitment of time, energy, and skills. This is because
- The addition of a solar array to your home is a significant benefit. It adds value to your home, and saves you money on your electric bills. Our expectations of “sweat equity” provide an opportunity for recipients to give back to the program in keeping with the benefits received.
- Our aim is to keep our program as self-sustaining as possible, so we ask all participants to contribute their skills and experience to help it continue. Participants help sustain the organization by running it, through such roles as Volunteer Coordinator, Project Manager, Fundraising Lead, Media Coordinator, etc., and by recruiting others to join. As the saying goes, many hands make light work.
- Our vision is to enable access to solar for ALL, so we rely on our participants to help grow our program through fundraising, volunteer recruitment, program development, and raising awareness.
For more information on the requirements and expectations of participants, please click here.
How to Apply
To begin the application process, express your interest and/or add your name to the waiting list, please fill out our online application when it is activated in January 2020. Applications received after the deadline date (TBD) will be considered if spaces open up this year, and otherwise will be on the list for next year.
For more details on the process, application, and expectations of ISFA participants, please click here.