Low income communities still lack access to renewable energy

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Hundreds of Massachusetts residents are paying for a program that they don’t benefit from.

A statewide program aims to boost clean energy rates by increasing solar development but data shows that low and moderate income communities might not be benefiting from the program at all.

A letter sent to Governor Baker said that less than 3 percent of solar projects under the Massachusetts Renewable Target program qualify as low-income.

With the statewide poverty rate now exceeding 10 percent, environmental activists are calling the lack of renewable resources a ‘climate injustice’.

Forty elected officials, including Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse sent a letter to the Governor this week asking him to address their social and environmental concerns.

They say the state’s solar policies are excluding approximately half the Commonwealth’s population, despite every ratepayer paying into the utility-run solar programs.

Two bills have been filed this session that aim to remove the barriers that low and moderate income communities face when trying to find renewable energy sources.

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