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Heinrich: New Mexico Will Pilot New Community Solar Program To Bring Affordable Clean Energy To Low-Income Families

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) welcomed the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announcement that New Mexico is one of six states to pilot the Community Solar Subscription Platform, which is designed to connect community solar electric bill savings projects to households participating in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). DOE estimates that families in the pilot states will see over $1 billion annually in combined electric bill savings.

“New Mexico will be one of the first states to participate in a new community solar program to bring affordable clean energy to low-income families. This will help connect more New Mexicans to low-cost solar power,” said Heinrich. “To a family on a tight budget, higher energy costs can be devastating. With the sweltering heat wave sweeping across the nation over these past weeks, we must do all we can to maintain a reliable and affordable way for people to cool their homes without breaking the bank.” 

“New Mexico is leading the nation in a number of policies that encourage the deployment of solar generation. That includes solar tax credits for homes and businesses and a new statewide community solar program. We also have net metering programs at both of our larger utilities and in many of our state’s smaller electric co-ops. Earlier this year, the Kit Carson Electric Co-op in northern New Mexico achieved its goal of 100% daytime solar generation—showing what’s possible with the right investments and willpower,” Heinrich continued. “I am focused on how we can accelerate the deployment of both residential and utility-scale solar in every corner of our state—and all across the nation.”

Last month, HHS also issued new guidance that for the first time expands how LIHEAP can help vulnerable households and individuals purchase more efficient home cooling equipment like electric heat pumps.

Among the provisions to lower energy prices in the Inflation Reduction Act announced last week, Senator Heinrich secured a new rebate program that mirrors his Zero-Emission Homes Act that would make the economic, environmental, and health benefits of electrification affordable and accessible. The legislation would provide upfront, point-of-sale rebates for the purchase and installation of electric appliances and equipment in single-family homes and multifamily buildings, with additional support for low- and moderate- income households.