Model & Framework

Powered for Good Model and Framework

DESIGNING Equitable Solar+backup power Products in Texas

The process of developing a solar+storage product involved creating specific potential frameworks, and then weighing the pros and cons of each as it relates to:

  1. involving different parties in the financing and the delivery of the products,

  2. creating and maintaining different types of contractual relationships between parties, and

  3. analyzing the different allocations of risk between parties under each scenario.

One of the first frameworks we considered was a Broker/REP (Retail Electricity Provider) model.

  • If an entity becomes a REP, it has the most control over the product design and will be able to directly supply customers with solar power instead of brokering sales through another party.

  • However, there is significant cost and complexity that goes along starting a new REP. Therefore, we determined that in many scenarios, it makes the most sense to start as a broker and then transition to a REP over time.

Our proposed framework:

How a company can offer affordable, renewable, and resilient retail electricity products designed for low-to-moderate income (LMI) customers in Texas's deregulated power market:


  • Identify or negotiate the best 100% renewable electricity plan that will guarantee savings for a LMI customer and switch them over to that option.

  • Monitor and track customer savings.


  • Partner with an existing retail electricity provider (REP) that already offers low cost renewable electricity plans.

  • Receive payments from the REP when you broker their plans to customers.

  • Become profitable after reaching some number of signups.


  • Coordinate provision of REP functions and services with partners.

  • Coordinate purchase of renewable power on the wholesale market to curate customized offerings to customers.

  • Mitigate market risk (capital and controls supply; customer credit).


  • With time, the REP/broker can make available additional offerings related to:

    • Community Energy Storage/ Backup Power (< 1 MWh)

    • Demand Response & Load Control

    • Energy Efficiency (Contracting)

    • Rooftop Solar (Brokering)

  • As technology and costs improve, the REP/broker can continue to evaluate which options provide the greatest benefit to the local community and grid

Project Timeline and Milestones:

Phase 1: Complete

  • Powered for Good kicked off in summer 2020 by reviewing successful solar+storage projects designed for low income communities across the country.

  • We learned about local opportunities and challenges from a broad range of stakeholders, including focus groups and a survey involving Houston residents.

Phase 2: Complete

  • Based on learnings from Phase 1, we designed a retail electricity product offering that provided the following:

    • 100% solar and green power for lower income households at rates below their current fossil-fuel power rates.

    • No credit check or deposits required.

    • Ability to add battery storage for community center backup power.

    • Marketing designed to educate, not confuse.

    • 30%+ customer ownership of company.

    • Respected elder states people to act as "Stewards" to keep company focused on ethical, useful offerings and develop trust in the community.

    • Senior executives to reflect diversity of customers.

Phase 3: Underway

  • We are continuing to engage and learn from community members, organizations, and other stakeholders to improve how households can best analyze and select electricity provider offerings.

  • Through our research and resulting initiatives (such as Energy Well Texas), we are looking for ways to build out an ecosystem of providers, developers, and community leaders that can be brought together to innovate how low income communities across Texas can participate in and benefit from solar + storage.