The Solar Energy Technologies Office’s soft costs subprogram works to address challenges associated with non-hardware costs of solar and remove market barriers to the adoption of solar energy technologies throughout the United States. The soft costs subprogram works in the following strategic areas: networking and technical assistance, data analysis, business innovation, and training.
The soft or “plug-in” costs of solar account for as much as 64% of the total cost of a new solar system. These barriers are often the result of a lack of information needed to do a job or make a decision. These information gaps can slow market growth or prevent market access.
Through its data analysis and technical solutions programs, SETO examines the market barriers facing solar consumers and develops practical applications for addressing the challenges to solar deployment, including expanding access to those who have been left out of the solar market, like non-profits, renters, and low-income households.
Through innovative solar training programs, SETO analyzes the workforce needs and develops frameworks and solutions to support the rapidly growing solar industry. Solar industry employment has increased 159% since 2010 and has grown nearly nine times faster than the national average job growth rate.
These training programs are bolstered by a set of fundamental business innovation solutions that enable efficient solar transactions and text experimental program designs that enable greater access to solar electricity like community and shared solar.
Finally, SETO's technical assistance programs support state and local governments as they undergo strategic planning to lower market barriers for solar energy in order to meet state and national renewable energy goals. This work ensures that solar power becomes affordable and accessible for more Americans every day.
Learn more about soft costs funding programs.
Soft Costs Success Stories
Millions of Americans looking to buy a home have a new resource to help them go solar in the process. Thanks to a partnership between SunShot...Learn More