South Bend: City Launches New Program to Add Solar, Improve Energy Efficiency with Community Organizations

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January 19, 2022

The City of South Bend has launched the Energy Assistance and Solar Savings Initiative (EASSI) to assist local nonprofits, schools, and other community organizations to install solar panels and make energy efficiency upgrades.

"I'm excited that the City will help local organizations improve their energy efficiency and go solar before the full state benefits of net metering expire later this year," said Mayor James Mueller. "These investments in clean energy will not only advance our environmental goals but also allow these organizations to spend more on their core missions and less on energy."

The program, a partnership between the City of South Bend, IFF, and CDFI Friendly South Bend, will allow local nonprofits, schools, public libraries, medical facilities, grocery stores, and churches to apply for a free energy assessment, grant funding for improvements, and optional low interest lending through IFF.

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The program can also help qualifying organizations make contact with pre-qualified contractors and assist with project management.

"If your organization is interested in going solar, we encourage you to apply for EASSI as soon as possible," said Evelyn Bauman, Director of Sustainability. "By participating in the program this spring, your organization will have a better chance of securing net metering. Net metering ensures you receive fair credit for the electricity your system produces. The policy is set to change on July 1, 2022, so any system installed after July 1 will not receive the full retail credit."

To learn more about eligibility and how to apply, visit southbendin.gov/eassi.

Staff from the Office of Sustainability will host a webinar on the program on Monday, January 24 at 10 a.m. which can be accessed by visiting southbendin.gov/eassiwebinar.

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