The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) has been awarded $568,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. Under the Solar Training and Education for Professionals (STEP) program, CESA will work with state and local policymakers and regulators to improve best practices, implement consumer protections, and ensure that solar markets remain inclusive and accessible.

Through its new project, called the Sustainable Solar Education Project, CESA will develop and disseminate educational materials, provide workshops, and offer an online course designed to assist state policymakers and program administrators improve consumer protection. By improving consumer information, implementing new measures, and strengthening programs and policies that improve solar’s accessibility among all income groups, the project will complement CESA’s mission and the Energy Department’s efforts to make solar energy cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade.

CESA will also engage stakeholders interested in improving solar inclusivity and consumer protection, and will offer technical assistance to policymakers and regulators to help them meet their goals.

“Effective state programs and policies have been essential to growing the solar market in the U.S.” observed Warren Leon, executive director of CESA. “CESA’s new Sustainable Solar Education Project will address two issues that state officials have identified as important to maintaining solar’s impressive growth: the need to make it easier for all residents of a state to participate in the solar market and the need to provide sound information and adequate protection so that consumers have confidence in their solar purchase decisions.”

“We at CESA are looking forward to working with a broad group of solar policymakers and stakeholders to develop needed training and policy guides through the Sustainable Solar Education Project. We will work with state officials from across the country to inform their efforts to ensure that the solar deployments they are supporting are more affordable, inclusive, and are installed by reputable, competent vendors and contractors,” added Nate Hausman, project manager.

Materials developed under this award will be available free of cost and posted on CESA's Sustainable Solar Education Project webpage.  

CESA will be hosting a series of Sustainable Solar Education Project webinars on topics related to solar PV equitability and consumer protection. The first of these webinars, “Residential Solar Financing 101,” will take place on Wednesday, June 22 from 1-2pm ET, and will feature guest speaker Travis Lowder from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This webinar is free but registration is required.