In May 2019, Groundswell, with its partner organizations Elevate Energy, Southface and Clean Energy Works, launched a three-year research and demonstration program with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). Groundswell’s “LIFT” program will conduct research and develop program designs to rapidly accelerate accessible, market-based, scalable community solar and energy efficiency programs for low-income households and communities in at least a dozen states.

Groundswell leads the collaborative “Accelerating Low-Income Financing and Transactions for Solar Access Everywhere (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 (

About Elevate Energy

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. 

About Southface Institute

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.

About Clean Energy Works

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.

About the 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.