EPA’s Solar for All Program aims to help Ohioans lower energy bills, create jobs – Public News Service

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The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $156 million to Midwestern states, including Ohio, to help residents lower their energy bills through community-based solar.

The money will help about 30,000 homeowners in the state install solar panels, which can cost around $13,000 before tax credits, according to the website EnergySage.

Michael Jeans, president and CEO of Cleveland-based Growth Opportunity Partners, said the grant funding included a memorandum of understanding and a partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to train and hire skilled workers for installation projects.

“As they add new tools to their tool belts, they’ll be able to work in an industry that has a long tail into the future and earn good paying jobs with benefits,” Jeans pointed out.

Last year the state saw a nearly 14% uptick in residential solar installation. The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority has also received $156 million in federal funding for a statewide initiative which aims to expand the use of solar energy in traditionally underserved communities.

Alyssa Johnson, program manager for the nonprofit Power a Clean Future Ohio, said in many regions of the state, people are paying more than 30% of their monthly income toward utilities, adding nationwide, 5% is considered to be energy burdened.

“This Solar for All program directly addresses that,” Johnson explained. “Through our application as well, there’s a potential to save households an average of $500 annually on their electricity bills by installing that rooftop solar for them.”

According to MarketWatch, homeowners can expect to save an average of slightly more than more than $1,500 a year on energy bills by installing solar.

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