Richmond, VA – Dimension Renewable Energy (“Dimension”) is proud to announce its partnership with Community Housing Partners (“CHP”), a leading Virginia-based affordable housing provider, to deliver the benefits of shared solar directly to thousands of low- to moderate-income (“LMI”) families in Virginia.
Before the Virginia General Assembly authorized the creation of the Shared Solar Program in 2020, the numerous benefits of solar energy were exclusive to homeowners with adequate roof space, sufficient financial ability, and a clear line of sight to the sun. Now any Dominion Energy customer – even renters – can subscribe to the energy produced by an offsite solar facility in order to reduce their electric bills.
“Not everyone owns their roof or can afford the upfront cost of a solar array, and this partnership will make renewable energy possible for thousands of Virginia families for whom it would otherwise be out of reach,” said Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), who carried the bill that created the shared solar program.
At a time when electricity and the general cost of living are on the rise, Dimension’s shared solar subscribers can expect to see a 10% decrease in their monthly electric bill when they enroll in the program. Across Dimension’s entire portfolio, that equates to approximately $20 million in savings for subscribers over the lifetime of their projects. Through its partnership with CHP, Dimension is making sure these savings will bring direct economic relief to those most impacted by inflation.
“The Dimension team is proud to lead the way for shared solar in Virginia,” said Sam Youneszadeh, Dimension’s Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer. “We believe in shared solar. Our projects will result in the creation of hundreds of jobs and decades of sustainable energy savings to Virginia families who need it most.”
Senator Surovell’s (D-Fairfax) and former-Delegate Jay Jones’ (D-Norfolk) 2020 legislation requires shared solar projects to enroll at least 30% of their subscribers from LMI communities.
By partnering directly with an affordable housing provider to subscribe LMI residents to shared solar, Dimension and CHP’s partnership goes beyond the letter of the law by actively working to lower the barriers to entry into renewables and reduce economic inequality. Instead of waiting for potential subscribers to seek them out, their innovative partnership prioritizes the low and moderate income residents that CHP serves.
“Shared solar is another way for us to help low-income families in a responsible, climate-friendly way,” said Janaka Casper, CEO of Community Housing Partners and a member of the Virginia Clean Energy Advisory Board. “We plan to work with Dimension and other partners to help bring the benefits of shared solar to our residents.”
Additionally, a number of CHP’s properties are located just a few miles away from the Dimension solar facility that will serve them. These projects create well-paying construction jobs in the area and also support the movement towards localized energy generation, matching clean power supply with local power demand.
The accessibility, affordability, and equity of shared solar represent a transformative moment in Virginia’s energy policy. Virginians are beginning to have choice over how they acquire their energy, and Dimension is thankful for Dominion’s coordination with developers and subscribers in administering the shared solar program.Without Dominion’s support, thousands of Virginians would have otherwise been excluded from the benefits of solar power, simply because of their income, address, or the fact they rent their house or apartment.
Youneszadeh continued, “We look forward to continuing to work with Dominion Energy to enable this program to achieve the maximum possible benefit to low-income families in Virginia. Dominion is putting in place a new customer interface for all their customers which will streamline the subscriber experience and support our efforts to make the benefits of solar available to more Virginians.”
From Chesapeake to Prince Edward, to Augusta and Dumfries, Dimension and CHP’s partnership will help to bridge the gap in clean energy accessibility.
Founded in 1975, Community Housing Partners (CHP) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, governed by a board, that provides housing opportunities and related services to low-income individuals and families across the southeastern andMid-Atlantic United States. Through its mission to create homes and communities that are healthy, sustainable, and affordable, CHP has been a leading advocate of affordable housing development in Virginia for over 40 years. CHP’s activities include real estate development, construction, energy services and training, asset management, property management, homeownership, and comprehensive resident services.
Dimension is a leading developer and operator of community solar solutions. For the communities in which we invest, our fleet of solar projects delivers clean energy, local jobs, tax revenue, and savings, alongside other benefits including workforce development and educational opportunities. We are a turnkey provider of these solutions: from site acquisition and development to construction and operation, we are a steady and reliable presence in our communities.
Dimension Renewable Energy
Bryan Bentrott, VP of Origination
Community Housing Partners
Michael Sutphin, Communications Manager