Solar Assistance

Fighting Energy Poverty with Solar Power

Energy Poverty

Although scarcely on the societal radar, “energy poverty” is a pervasive social problem affecting over 33 million American households.
On average, low-income households must spend about a fifth of their total income on energy-related expenses, straining already tight budgets.
Struggling families are forced to make the impossible choice between home energy costs and other basic necessities, such as food and medical care. 
Fortunately, families can receive support through public assistance, but a stopgap is not a solution. At the national level, we are hemorrhaging public resources without providing a long-term solution or addressing the root causes of energy poverty.

RREAL has a long-term solution to energy poverty!

Solar Assistance

Since 2000, RREAL has been dedicated to making solar energy accessible to communities of all income levels.


Through our Solar Assistance program, we provide solar arrays for low-income families and communities as a way to serve more people in need and ensure that everyone can have access to safe, clean, and reliable energy. 

RREAL combats energy poverty by providing solar energy systems for homes, affordable housing projects, and community solar arrays through three Solar Assistance programs.

Solar with Justice: Strategies for Powering Up Under-Resourced Communities and Growing an Inclusive Solar Market


This report aims to accelerate the implementation of solar in under-resourced communities in ways that provide meaningful, long-lasting benefits to those communities. The recommendations in the report set a path forward for increasing solar deployments that result in significant economic, equity, and environmental improvements.

Solar Justice.PNG

RREAL's Solar Assistance Programs


Community Solar for Community Action

Rather than simply paying low-income families' energy bills year after year, Community Solar for Community Action (CS4CA) forges a new model of energy assistance through the use of community-owned solar arrays. 

Solar for Humanity

RREAL furthers Habitat for Humanity's mission by helping households benefit from reduced energy bills through Solar Assistance.

Installation Team and Completed Array V.

Skip the Grid

Our Skip the Grid program empowers hospitals, schools, and other critical infrastructures in Sub-Saharan Africa with solar solutions.


“…after the installation of the [solar] heating unit, this winter we only used 40% of fuel on one [propane] tank fill, this would relate to a 75% fuel savings this year, at the cost of propane this winter it amounted to a savings of about $1000.”

Paul Johnson,

 Solar Assistance recipient

Pillager, MN



100% low-income community solar array at the Prescott Community Center on the Leech Lake Reservation.

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in our Solar Assistance program, please contact us. 

Due to funding limitations, we unfortunately cannot guarantee an installation, but we would be happy to coordinate with your local Community Action Agency or community. 

If you're from Minnesota, check out the Energy Assistance and Weatherization programs.

Otherwise, find your state's Energy Assistance and Weatherization programs.

Rural Renewable Energy Alliance | 3963 8th St. SW Backus, MN 56435 | 218.947.3779

Mailing: PO Box 89 Pine River, MN 56474

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