Spark Northwest Policy News Feb 12, 2024


Oregon Priority: Solar + Storage Funding 

Oregon’s very short session (just 35 days) is in full swing. We are most excited to be involved in advocacy that directly supports the work we are doing with Proud Ground, bringing solar to affordable homes at zero cost to homeowners, with a priority to BIPOC homeowners whose incomes are in the low-and-moderate range.  

As background, Proud Ground is the largest Community Land Trust in the Pacific Northwest, and together, we are managing homeowner solar education, installer selection, and customer experience. We are also helping homeowners navigate available financial benefits from state institutions and new federal laws.  

How is this connected to our policy work? This project is funded primarily by the Portland Clean Energy Fund, with critical supplemental funds from the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Solar within Reach program and the Oregon Department of Energy Solar + Storage rebate fund. The Oregon Department of Energy’s rebate program is in a precarious place, with funds soon set to lapse. Our policy team is busy advocating for an extension of the program through the state budget.

This is a good example of how Spark Northwest pairs practical, project-based knowledge with systemic advocacy.    

In other Oregon news:

  • Oregon Just Transition Alliance is taking the lead on extending the Healthy Homes Grant Program, administered by the Oregon Health Authority.

  • Spark Northwest is supporting the Building Resilience coalition’s work to extend the Oregon Department of Energy’s Rental Home Heat Pump Program, which has already allocated over $10M to support all-electric heating and cooling for market-rate and affordable housing, including manufactured homes and recreational vehicles parked in rental spaces. 

Washington Priority: Clean Energy Ambassadors