Solstice Initiative Partners With Next Step Living To Bring Solar Power To Massachusetts Families

Community solar model enables millions of Massachusetts households to switch to affordable clean energy—no rooftop required


January 28, 2015 

BOSTON– Solstice Initiative, the first social enterprise dedicated to bringing solar power to every American, today announced it is partnering with Next Step Living, a Boston-based provider of whole-home energy solutions, to bring solar power to Massachusetts households previously unable to access it.

An estimated 80 percent of Massachusetts homes cannot currently install solar panels, either because the home is rented, has limited access to sunshine, or the roof cannot accommodate solar power panels. With the advent of community solar, which allows residents to purchase shares of a larger off-site solar power project, more Massachusetts homes can now “go solar.” 


Under this agreement, Solstice Initiative will recruit and qualify customers to participate in community solar arrays being built across Massachusetts by Next Step Living and its affiliates. Upon activation, these households will see immediate savings on their utility bill by switching to solar.

“Next Step Living has proven that there is a huge demand for home energy services in Massachusetts, and for many homes, solar power is the next logical step,” said Steve Moilanen, co-founder and CEO of Solstice Initiative. “We believe you should not be locked out of the market for solar just because you rent your home or live on a shady street. Next Step Living is helping to overcome those barriers, and we are thrilled to be working with them to share the benefits of solar power with a new set of customers.”

Solstice Initiative was founded in 2014 and was selected for the Princeton eLab Summer Accelerator Program and Halcyon Incubator, which supports social enterprises with ambitious visions of social change. It was a semi-finalist for the Verizon Powerful Answers award and for MIT’s Climate CoLab prize. This marks its first major agreement with a Massachusetts-based solar provider. Solstice Initiative is currently in advanced discussions with other solar power developers to help more households in Massachusetts switch to clean energy.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Solstice Initiative to bring solar to more Massachusetts residents. Their vision of making solar affordable and easily accessible aligns with our mission to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to our communities,” said Gabe Shapiro, vice president of outreach programs at Next Step Living. “With this partnership, we’re helping even more communities lower their carbon footprint.” 

Next Step Living first began offering community solar in June 2014, and has since incorporated the new product into its existing portfolio of whole-home solutions, including high-efficiency windows, rooftop solar power systems and insulation work. The company is a two-time awardee of the Global CleanTech 100 and Inc. 500’s fastest-growing companies list.

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About Solstice Initiative

Solstice Initiative is a nonprofit corporation and is the first social enterprise dedicated to expanding affordable solar power to every American household, particularly the 77.5 million individuals that are renters and make less than $50,000 per year. Under the Solstice model, households purchase a portion of a community solar array, enabling them to access clean energy and save money on their utility bill. Solstice partners with socially-minded community organizations to aggregate demand for and to distribute community solar. Solstice designs, markets, and administers this solar offering on behalf of community organizations.

Next Step Living

One of the fastest growing companies in the country, Next Step Living® is the leading provider of whole-home energy solutions. Headquartered in Boston’s Innovation District, Next Step Living makes it easy and affordable for people to live in homes with a low environmental impact. A one-stop service provider of informed advice, funding guidance and expert work, Next Step Living partners with more than 400 municipalities, civic organizations, leading corporations and utility companies to deliver energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for better living. Since 2008, Next Step Living has helped New England homeowners achieve more than $24.5 million in energy savings, which is expected to grow to more than $123 million in the next five years. Next Step Living makes our world better.

Media Contact:

Brian Bowen