It’s an understatement to say CSE is proud to be a central part of the administrative partnership for California’s new Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program. With up to $1 billion over the next 10 years, it has the potential to incentivize solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on hundreds of low-income multifamily housing apartments across the state. We are extremely gratified!
CSE is well-positioned for a key role in SOMAH. We’ve served as administrators in the San Diego Gas & Electric territory for the Self-Generation Incentive Program, the California Solar Initiative and the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing program and as statewide administrators of Energy Upgrade California's marketing, education and outreach. In doing so, we’ve informed innumerable residents and businesses about renewable energy and energy efficiency and facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives for projects that have provided hundreds of megawatts of renewable energy.
“For too long, families facing the greatest environmental hurdles have been left out, and this decision moves some of those benefits much closer to the families that need them.” - Assembly Member Susan Eggman, sponsor of the bill creating SOMAH
CSE is joining some great nonprofit partners to run SOMAH for the California Public Utilities Commission – the Association for Energy Affordability and GRID Alternatives, with assistance from the California Housing Partnership Corporation, Rising Sun Energy Center, California Environmental Justice Alliance and others.
Such a team of clean energy and affordable housing organizations with community-minded and mission-based values will ensure the maximum possible program benefits for both multifamily property owners and tenants alike. Moreover, the partners’ public benefit lens will boost SOMAH’s value by providing job training opportunities, ongoing technical assistance and coordination with other existing state energy assistance programs.
SOMAH is a monumental solar equity program that will bring clean, renewable energy into low-income and disadvantaged communities. They are the very places that are often the most impacted by the harmful effects of fossil fuel use and related air pollution. While a few other states and local governments have similar programs, once again California leads the way in providing access to solar energy to people of all income levels and living circumstances.
Some 3,500 multifamily affordable properties statewide are eligible for SOMAH incentives, potentially providing power for more than 255,000 individual households. An explicit goal is that solar systems lower the tenants’ utility bills.
Wide role in CA solar
SOMAH is poised to have long-term, significant impacts throughout the state. Its benefits will spread beyond neighborhood boundaries by helping to lower the overall costs of solar, increasing workforce development opportunities and job placement and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Making sustainable energy technologies more widely available to all residents and businesses is a central part of what CSE does. We’re proud to be doing our part to help achieve environmental justice.