Rhode Island Affordable Solar Access Pathways (ASAP) Program
The Affordable Solar Access Pathways program is a first of its kind program in Rhode Island to help underserved and environmental justice communities access affordable rooftop solar and energy efficiency services.
RHODE ISLAND AFFORDABLE SOLAR ACCESS PATHWAYS (ASAP) PROGRAM
ASAP is a state program administered by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Renewable Energy Fund and supported by Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources. This program is targeted at providing low-cost solar to qualifying homes located in environmental justice areas, or census tracts that are eligible for the federal Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program. The areas, which disproportionately suffer the effects of pollution, include parts of Woonsocket, Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence, Cranston, West Warwick, East Providence, Warren, Middletown and Newport.
The ASAP program provides an additional financial incentive, in combination with existing federal and state programs, for eligible customers. This support allows PosiGen to offer lower pricing and higher savings for participating customers.
- Applicants have to meet income guidelines. Only households with income less than or equal to 80% of the Rhode Island median will qualify. For a single person, that's $35,674. For a family of four, it’s $68,605.
- ASAP program is limited to single-family homes located in environmental justice areas, as defined by the state Department of Environmental Management.
- The roof must be in good condition and that the solar system must meet certain performance requirements
No Upfront Costs
• No minimum credit score or income requirement
• No down payment required
• Community-supported initiative
• Maintenance, monitoring, and warranties included
• Guaranteed first-year savings
• No-cost energy efficiency services included
• Assured kWh performance with money-backed guarantee
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Affordable Solar Access Pathways Program?
The ASAP Program is administered by the Renewable Energy Fund and Office of Energy Resources in order to increase the deployment of rooftop solar in environmental justice focus areas.
What services/products are provided by the program?
The Program offers a solar lease for a rooftop solar system, a home energy audit, and energy efficiency upgrades for all participants.
Who is eligible to participate in the program?
In order to be eligible, residents must 1) live in an “environmental justice focus area” or census tract that is eligible for the federal Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit program, 2) have a household income at or below 80% of the state median income, and 3) live in a 1-4 unit home. This includes residents who are either on the standard residential utility rate schedule (A-16) or the discounted low-income utility rate schedule (A-60).
What are the eligible geographic areas for the program?
Rhode Island’s environmental justice focus areas can be found at: https://dem.ri.gov/environmental-protection-bureau/initiatives/environmental-justice
This designation includes areas of Providence, East Providence, Woonsocket, Central Falls, Warren, West Warwick, Newport, and Middletown
The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program, which utilizes the same list of census tracts as the New Markets Tax Credit, adds additional census tracts which can be found at:
Do I need to recertify household income on a recurring basis?
No - you do not need to remain at or below 80% SMI or recertify household income for the duration of the solar lease.
What is the expected energy bill savings for participants?
Expected savings will depend on a number of factors including solar system size, the home’s access to sunlight, energy efficiency upgrade opportunities, and the customer’s utility rate schedule (standard residential or discounted low-income rate). The potential utility bill savings could range between $500-$1,500 in the first year on average.
Does this program provide “free solar?”
No - participants will have a lease payment for their solar and will also still receive utility bills from Rhode Island Energy for any portion of their energy usage not covered by net metering.
How many homes is the program expected to serve?
With the initial $1 million in funding, the Program is expected to serve between 200-300 homes.
How was PosiGen selected?
OER & RI Commerce issued an RFP in late 2022 to select an installer or installers to participate in the program. PosiGen responded to that RFP and was subsequently selected.
How does this program interact with net metering, the Renewable Energy Growth Program, or Renewable Energy Fund Grant?
The ASAP Program will work in conjunction with net metering. Participants will not be able to also utilize the Renewable Energy Growth Program or an additional Renewable Energy Fund Grant.
What if the customer changes their mind, how do they cancel?
Customers can cancel by submitting a signed “Notice of Cancellation” form that is provided with each lease agreement. This can be done before the later of 3 business days or until work has started on the installation.
What happens if someone sells their home?
If a participant is planning to sell their home, the most important thing is to contact PosiGen early on in the process. We provide 4 options:
1. The homebuyer assumes the lease. With the expected savings and value, this is the most commonly used option.
2. You may prepay the agreement. PosiGen would remain the system owner and be responsible for our obligations under the lease but no further payments would be necessary from the new homeowner.
3. You may purchase the system, if the home sale occurs at least 6 years after the system is activated. This would then be transferred to the homebuyer but PosiGen would not longer be responsible for monitoring or repairs.
4.The system may be removed for a fee to cover the cost of removing and redeploying the system.
Who is PosiGen?
PosiGen is a public benefit and certified B corporation that was founded in 2011 in New Orleans. They now have over 25,000 customers across a dozen states, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut and are the national leader on low-and-moderate income rooftop solar.
Has PosiGen participated in programs like ASAP before?
Yes, PosiGen has partnered with the Connecticut Green Bank for their Solar For All program and is also currently partnering with the Philadelphia Energy Authority and city of New Orleans for their LMI solar programs.