No-cost Solar Installs Restarted for Income-Qualified Buncombe Residents

February 15, 2023 | Posted In:



Blue Horizons Project has renewed its commitment to no-cost solar for low-income families through its Neighbor to Neighbor Solar program.  As a program of the nonprofit Green Built Alliance and in partnership with the City of Asheville and Buncombe County, Blue Horizons Project continues its efforts to reach 100% Renewable Energy by 2042 in an equitable way. Neighbor to Neighbor aims to directly address the high energy costs that disproportionately burden low-income families, while also reducing carbon pollution and advancing our region’s energy goals. The first 2 systems were installed in late 2022, with plans to install at least 20 systems total. Installs will be completed by Sugar Hollow Solar.

To qualify for Neighbor to Neighbor, families’ income must be less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Specific focus will also be given to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) households. Neighbor to Neighbor participants are also eligible for energy upgrade services from our partner program Energy Savers Network.

Sam Ruark, Executive Director at Green Built Alliance, is grateful for these partnerships. “We are super thankful to work with our local government partners and Sugar Hollow to expand the reach of solar energy systems into households that might not be able to afford it otherwise.”

Clary Franko, Chief Operating Officer at Sugar Hollow Solar, highlights the importance of serving these community members. “It’s essential that we include all people in the clean energy revolution happening right now. Solar is one of the brilliant technologies that’s necessary to create a healthier future but we need more people to be accessing and benefiting from both the energy and the economy of it,” she said. “We are grateful to Green Built Alliance for investing in this program and honored to have been chosen as their Neighbor to Neighbor partner. We hope to continue developing more projects like this.”


For households that would like to apply for Neighbor to Neighbor Solar, please see instructions on our website. If you have any questions, please reach out to Summer Winkler, [email protected] or 828-222-0314.


About Blue Horizons Project:

As a program of Green Built Alliance, Blue Horizons Project is working to make a 100% clean-energy future a reality in our region, including initiatives to reduce barriers and costs to solar energy with programs like Neighbor to Neighbor Solar. The work of the Blue Horizons Project is being performed for the residents of the City of Asheville and Buncombe County  in partnership with the City of Asheville and Buncombe County.


In 2022 when Federal ARPA funding came available through the City of Asheville and Buncombe County, Green Built Alliance was granted enough funding for fourteen projects. The Buncombe County Office of Sustainability has also provided funding for an additional six projects. 


About Green Built Alliance:

Green Built Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a 22-year history of advancing sustainable living, green building and climate justice through inspired action, community education and collaborative partnerships. This membership-based nonprofit makes sustainability more accessible locally through numerous community initiatives and resources. Its efforts include certifying green residential construction through Green Built Homes; making energy-efficiency and renewable-energy upgrades to local schools and nonprofits through Appalachian Offsets; managing the Blue Horizons Project community 100% clean-energy campaign; weatherizing low-income homes through Energy Savers Network; and educating the public through classes and its annual Green Building Directory magazine. 

Learn more or get involved by becoming a member or making a donation at


About Sugar Hollow Solar:

Sugar Hollow Solar is the largest locally owned full-service renewable energy company in WNC.  For 13 years, they’ve helped businesses, government and hundreds of homeowners annually, strive towards energy independence by going solar. They design, install and service solar arrays (rooftop or ground-mounted), battery backup systems, and EV chargers. Sugar Hollow is all about beautifully designed, people-first solutions to the current energy challenges. Voted Best of WNC and Best of Asheville 2022.


Cover photo courtesy of Sugar Hollow Solar.