Start a CLEAN Program

LCPG CoverCLEAN Programs offer proven benefits to consumers, utilities, cities, and states. We want to help you unlock the potential of local, renewable energy.

To start a statewide CLEAN Program, visit our Resource Hub.

To start a utility-specific CLEAN Program, our Local CLEAN Program Guide, which builds upon the success of existing CLEAN Programs, is designed to point you in the right direction by walking you through the steps you need to take to create a CLEAN Program in your community.

To start, download Module 1 of our Local CLEAN Program Guide for an overview of CLEAN Programs and how they work.

Then use the rest of the Local CLEAN Program Guide as a blueprint for building a CLEAN Program in your community, from figuring out whether a CLEAN Program will work where you are, to evaluating costs and benefits, designing policies, building community support, and getting official approval.

The Local CLEAN Program Guide features seven downloadable modules:

For additional guidance, contact the Clean Coalition. Our staff is ready to help.

Also consider joining the Clean Coalition’s mailing list, following us on Facebook or Twitter, or signing up for our newsletter to learn about upcoming training opportunities and be keep abreast of what other CLEAN communities are doing.

Frequently asked questions

Can my community start its own CLEAN Program?

The short answer is “yes.” The long answer is a little more complicated, and we at the Clean Coalition have the resources — including our Local CLEAN Program Guide — to help you.

Here’s an overview:

  • Communities in states with statewide CLEAN Programs — Maine, Hawaii, Oregon, and Vermont — can contact us to help design a local program that will achieve the goals of your community. If your state doesn’t have a statewide CLEAN Program, one can be created though legislation.
  • If you get your electricity through a municipal utility or a cooperative, your community can request implementation of a CLEAN Program.
  • If you get your electricity through an investor-owned utility, local leaders might be able to negotiate a CLEAN Program with the utility. A number of cities and states have also enacted legislation that requires investor-owned utilities to embrace CLEAN Programs.

Special situations:

  • Communities with Community Choice Aggregation or other procurement rights can implement the procurement features of a CLEAN Program through the community purchasing authority.
  • If your community doesn’t control procurement rights and the utility won’t cooperate, you can set up a Hybrid CLEAN Program and still harness the power of clean, local energy resources:
    • If your community controls wholesale electricity purchases but not the local grid, it can implement a CLEAN Program without the grid access features.
    • If your community controls neither wholesale electricity purchase nor the local grid, it can implement a CLEAN Campus Program.

Does my community have enough renewable resources to make a CLEAN Program worthwhile?

Almost certainly. For example, studies have shown that almost every state could get 20% or more of its electricity from solar power alone.

But every community is different, and most lack policies that allow residents and businesses to take advantage of their local renewable energy resources. That’s where CLEAN comes in, and that’s where we can help.

There are several tools available to help communities evaluate their renewable options. Click here to access calculators and tools provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Can our local electric grid handle more renewables?

Most local grids in the U.S. can support significantly higher levels of local renewable energy generation without significant upgrades.

Through our Community Microgrid Initiative, we are working with utilities to launch three demonstration projects across the country by the end of 2016. Each demonstration project will prove that a local distribution grid, without major upgrades, is able to get at least 25% of the electricity it needs from local renewables while maintaining or improving grid reliability.