Groundswell leads the collaborative LIFT Solar Everywhere project, with the goal of developing optimal program design and pricing for working families in each common regulatory and utility service environment. LIFT’s research will serve both renters and homeowners.

Each LIFT partner will contribute actual energy efficiency, solar and community solar customer data to the research effort from the many community solar and clean energy projects that the groups have established serving low-and moderate-income families.  LIFT will also gather and analyze data nationally from similar community solar programs, improving accuracy and developing strong, thriving program designs to serve low-income families.

For more information or questions about the LIFT Program, please contact Chris Nichols.

PAYS Solar Study

The LIFT Solar Everywhere research project has developed a three-part research report to determine whether and how the PAYS® system for tariffed on-bill investment could make on-site solar systems available to low- and moderate-income (LMI) customers. The PAYS system is designed to facilitate utility investment in cost-effective energy upgrades under terms for site specific cost recovery that are defined in a tariff. LIFT’s research explores how PAYS could be adapted for solar + efficiency upgrades with affordable and sustainable financing.

This research is supported by the LIFT Solar Everywhere research project and provides a distinct potential financing solution increasing clean energy access for low and moderate-income households. For more information download the entire Applying the PAYS® System to On-Site Solar to Expand Access to All document.



Customer Experience Benchmarking Analysis

LIFT Solar has conducted benchmarking research of existing LMI clean energy and resource efficiency programs to assess customer experience and financial performance at the program or project level. This benchmarking research will inform and guide primary research in the latter stages of the LIFT Solar project through customer experience survey research of participating programs across the country, culminating in the delivery of the LIFT Solar Tool Kit. 

This benchmarking research may also provide insights and recommendations that will help clean energy and resource efficiency program administrators nationally serving LMI participants design and measure meaningful customer experiences that will enhance the programs and financial products being offered. For more information download the entire Lift Solar Customer Benchmarking Analysis.


  • LIFT Needs Your Data!

    LIFT Needs Your Data!

    Calls for Shared Data to Benefit LMI Families

    LIFT is requesting solar and community solar data on projects that serve Low to Moderate Income (LMI) customers. Solar or community solar programs may be managed by utilities, municipalities, solar developers and/or non-profit organizations - LIFT needs it all!

    August 27, 2020

  • LIFT Solar Research Collaborative Update: June/July

    LIFT Solar Research Collaborative Update: June/July

    The DOE awarded Groundswell and its partners Elevate Energy, Southface, and Clean Energy Works funds for a research collaboration. The project, called Accelerating Low-Income Financing and Transactions for Solar Access Everywhere or “LIFT Solar Everywhere” will determine the optimal financing and program elements (customer experience factors) that community solar projects need to best serve every member of our communities, and especially our energy burdened neighbors. LIFT will use data from energy efficiency, solar and community solar programs nationwide to analyze how best to serve low-income families.

    July 04, 2019

Project Partners

  • Elevate Energy’s mission is to deliver smarter energy use for all. We design and implement programs that reduce costs, protect people and the environment, and ensure the benefits of clean and efficient energy use reach those who need them most. As a national thought leader in the development of strategies for solar deployment in diverse and low-income communities, Elevate Energy has managed efficiency programs for ComEd, Ameren, Nicor, and Peoples Gas and administered programming for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Elevate Energy has also facilitated energy planning for states including Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, and renewable energy deployment strategies for the City of Chicago, Detroit, and Gary, Indiana.

  • Southface Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is a leader in sustainable advocacy, building, planning and operations across the U.S. With a mission to create a healthy and equitably built environment for all, Southface’s consulting services, workforce development, research and policy practices are supporting better homes, workplaces and communities. Experts in the fields of resource efficiency, building tech and organizational sustainability since 1978, Southface is committed to building a regenerative economy to meet tomorrow’s needs today.

  • Clean Energy Works connects champions of energy efficiency and renewable energy with resources that accelerate investment in clean energy solutions. A nonprofit organization, Clean Energy Works focuses on business plan development for utilities that are using Pay As You Save (PAYS®) financing to update their investment model for the 21st century.

US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office

The Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development in the solar technologies with the goal of improving the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more at The LIFT Solar Everywhere program is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, under Award Number No. DE-EE0008567.