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 168% since 2010 and has grown 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
When attracting new solar customers, a savings forecast is at the heart of every solar installer’s pitch. A savings forecast helps potential...Learn More
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
As the residential solar sector rapidly grows, so do the number of options energy consumers have to choose from when going solar. The process can...Learn More
The Solar Foundation is leading a team that developed the CivicPACE program through an award from the SunShot Initiative. CivicPACE addresses the...Learn More
As the solar energy industry expands, banks and investors increasingly require higher quality data and tools to quantify the risks associated with...Learn More
The SunShot Initiative is well known for serving as one of the first sources of seed funding for cutting-edge solar energy technologies. At the...Learn More