Earth Day dollars: Austin Energy awarded part of a $250 million Solar for All federal grant –

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Austin Energy and the Texas Solar for All Coalition are celebrating Earth Day 2024 and a quarter-billion-dollar federal grant that will give millions of low-income households access to affordable and resilient renewable energy.

One of 60 partner organizations across Texas that will receive federal grant money, Austin Energy is expected to see tens of millions of dollars to aid direct deployment of clean solar energy to benefit thousands of historically disadvantaged communities and medically vulnerable residents. These grant dollars will: 

  • Expand access to rooftop and community solar, helping lower customer bills by more than 20% (average annual saving of nearly $2,000) in specific low-income communities.
  • Create good green jobs via a locally trained workforce.
  • Reduce carbon pollution by expanding green energy usage in the Austin area.
  • Foster community resilience through battery backup systems, especially benefiting medically vulnerable citizens.

“We are incredibly excited about how this grant helps the City of Austin reduce pollution, create green jobs and directly benefit our historically disadvantaged communities as we create Austin’s clean energy future,” Austin Energy Vice President of Customer Energy Solutions Richard Génecé said. “By focusing on expanding access to solar power, Austin Energy is helping relieve both the burdens of high-energy costs and carbon pollution that these communities disproportionately bear while strengthening our local grid resilience in the face of climate change.”

How it works

Austin Energy will use the grant funds to establish 15-year power purchase agreements for solar energy and performance contracts for storage batteries. The renewable energy will become part of the Community Solar Program portfolio and the batteries will be operated as virtual power plants, helping all Austin Energy customers save money when market energy costs are high.

Austin Energy will work with local solar installation contractors to build solar and storage projects in low-income residential and multi-family housing sites, with a special emphasis on households with medically vulnerable residents.

The homes will receive an upfront incentive for hosting a solar array and battery for 15 years. The qualifying customer will receive a guaranteed 20% bill discount through the low-income Community Solar Program subscription.

In the event of a grid outage, the single-family home will receive a whole home back-up. In the case of multifamily units, the battery may back-up power for common area loads, meeting rooms and warming/cooling centers.

After 15-year years, the ownership of the solar array flips to the customer, benefiting these families for decades to come.

About the grant

Part of the the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, the EPA’s $7 billion Solar for All program is part of the broader $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund that was created under the Inflation Reduction Act to mobilize public and private capital to combat the climate crisis and accelerate clean energy transition.

About the Texas Solar for All Coalition

A group of 60 cities, counties and community-based organizations from across the Lone Star State, known as the Texas Solar for All Coalition, will use these grant funds to accelerate investments in clean energy, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, close the solar equity gap for energy-burdened low-income families and create good green jobs in our communities.  

About Austin Energy

Customer Driven. Community Focused.

Austin Energy, the City of Austin’s electric utility, serves more than 575,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents in Greater Austin. The utility’s mission — to safely deliver clean, affordable, reliable energy and excellent customer service — has guided Austin Energy in powering the community and supporting the region’s growth since 1895. For more information about Austin Energy, visit

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