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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Dutchess Solar Program Reduces Electric Bills for Low-Income Residents

Dec 01, 2019 09:41AM ● By Marilee Burrell

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County (CCEDC), based in Millbrook, is continuing to help eligible low-income Hudson Valley homeowners and renters sign up for New York’s Solar for All program to help reduce their energy burden.

Solar for All is administered by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through NY-Sun, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. The program offers low-income households the opportunity to subscribe to a community solar project in their area without paying any costs or fees.

By enabling consumers to subscribe to a local community solar project, these projects increase access to solar for homeowners and renters who may not have ideal conditions to install solar panels at their location. Energy is still delivered through their regular electric provider, while the power produced from the community solar array is fed directly back to the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy while subscribers get credit on their electric bills.

It’s free to enroll in Solar for All, which provides $5 to $15 in credit on a single electric bill. Any renter or homeowner with a Central Hudson, NYSEG or Orange & Rockland electric account number can participate. Eligibility for Solar for All is based on household income. Residents that have participated in Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and EmPower NY are already income-qualified for the program.

Through its local community energy advisors, CCEDC provides information on Solar for All eligibility and helps households sign up for the program. CCEDC creates educational programs designed to build strong, healthy youth, adults, families and communities while enhancing the economic, social, agricultural and natural resources of Dutchess County and the region.

For information on CCEDC, visit For information about or assistance with Solar for All, contact a CCEDC community energy advisor at 845.677.8223. To enroll in Solar for All online, visit or and type “solar for all” in the search bar.