NEWS: Sanders and EPA Administrator Announce $7 Billion Solar for All Program That Combats Climate Change and Lowers Energy Costs for Working Families

EPA seeking applications for this residential rooftop solar program to bring solar to millions of homes in low-income and disadvantaged communities, funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act


BURLINGTON, Vt., June 28 – At an event today in Waterbury, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced a $7 billion grant competition for rooftop and residential solar that will increase access to affordable, resilient, and clean solar energy for millions of low-income households in Vermont and across the country. Sanders and Administrator Regan were joined at the announcement by Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Representative Becca Balint (D-Vt.), SunCommon’s cofounder and president, and other community leaders.

Championed by Sanders in the Senate and established when the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law in August of 2022, the Solar for All program will help expand access to rooftop and residential solar by awarding up to 60 grants to states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and eligible nonprofits. The new grant competition will provide funds to expand existing low-income solar programs as well as develop and implement new Solar for All programs nationwide.

This visit comes as part of a cross-nation tour by the Biden-Harris Administration during which Administrator Regan is announcing new resources to combat climate change, advance environmental justice, and build a clean energy economy – all made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act.

“At a time when people are struggling to make ends meet, all while dealing with the existential threat of climate change, we must make residential rooftop solar a reality for low-income and working families that need it most,” said Sen. Sanders. “This $7 billion residential solar program that I introduced and the EPA is administering is a major step in the right direction. I look forward to working with the EPA on this program to make it more affordable for low-income and working-class families to install solar on their homes and save money on their electricity bills, as well as help create millions of good jobs in Vermont and across the country.”

“For too long, overburdened communities on the front lines of the climate crisis have been left behind and locked out of clean energy investments and climate solutions,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, this historic boost in solar investments will advance millions of residential solar projects nationwide, protect people and the planet, deliver environmental justice, save families money, and create good-paying jobs. All communities deserve to participate in America’s growing clean energy economy and under this competition, we will bring more communities along, working together to build a healthier and cleaner future for all.”

“EPA’s Solar for All competition is building a future where clean, cheap, reliable energy is for everyone,” said John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation. “I commend Administrator Regan and Senator Sanders for their leadership in making sure all Americans, regardless of zip code, have access to low-cost solar energy and its benefits for health, jobs, and justice.”

Residential solar cuts home energy bills and provides families with resilient and secure power. Solar for All will help low-income and disadvantaged communities experience these meaningful benefits, including guaranteeing a minimum 20 percent total electricity bill savings for households participating in the program. The program will also play a critical role in developing quality clean-economy jobs by funding high-road workforce development programs across the nation. These workforce development programs will invest in training workers from low-income and disadvantaged communities to deploy residential distributed solar, creating opportunities in high-quality, long-term careers in the clean energy industry

Solar for All will be administered through the EPA’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which was established under the Inflation Reduction Act to combat the climate crisis by mobilizing financing and private capital for greenhouse gas- and air pollution-reducing projects in communities across the country. The program will also help meet President Biden’s goal of achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.

The deadline for eligible participants to apply to this grant competition is September 26, 2023. Additional details on the competition can be found HERE and HERE.


“Solar for All will accelerate the deployment of residential solar in communities that for too long have lacked access to the cost-saving benefits of clean energy generation at home,” said Senior Advisor and Acting Director of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Jahi Wise. “The Solar for All program strengthens low-income and disadvantaged community-focused solar programs across the country, bringing long-needed cost-savings and pollution reduction to American communities.”

“Last Congress, Senate Democrats, working with President Biden, transformed America’s approach to climate change and the clean energy economy with the Inflation Reduction Act,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). “In less than a year since it was signed into law, Americans have already felt its effects – in lower energy costs and in new, high-paying jobs. The Solar for All grant program is just the latest example of how this legislation will transform the lives of those most affected by the disastrous effects of climate change and promote environmental justice.”

“As we work to build a clean energy future, we must do so in a way that benefits all Americans—no matter their zip code or income,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “When developing the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, we intended for $7 billion of the program’s investments to target residential and community solar projects in communities with the greatest need. I’m pleased that the Biden-Harris administration’s Solar for All grant program is going to help deploy clean energy to millions of households, lowering energy costs and creating good-paying jobs across our nation.”

“We will never achieve our clean energy future without taking steps to support our low-income, frontline communities and ensure they have the investments and resources they need to thrive,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.). “As the former Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee, I was proud to work with the Biden Administration to develop and enact historic programs for the EPA in the Inflation Reduction Act, including the Solar for All grant program. I thank President Biden and Administrator Regan for their commitment to environmental justice and look forward to continuing to bolster programs that foster our clean energy transition, tackle the climate crisis, create good-paying jobs, and cut costs for all American families.”