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Home > Feature Articles > Sustainable Development Best Practices for Community Sustainability

Solar for Low-infome Multifamily Housing Communities

Reduced energy costs are very important to families with low incomes. This California program makes solar installations possible in multifamily communities.

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Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program for residents and owners of existing multifamily buildings

MASH is the California Solar Initiative (CSI) launches mid February 2009.

Designed to bring the benefits of solar to the low-income community, the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program will provide incentives to residents and owners of existing multifamily buildings that have a relatively high proportion of low-income units.

Benefits of Solar Energy for Multifamily Communities

At a rate of $3.30/Watt for common areas and $4.00/Watt for tenant areas, rebates are higher than the general market CSI. There are several innovative components of MASH, including a new tariff from the investor-owned utilities (IOUs) that will allow credits from a solar system to be distributed to meters throughout an affordable housing complex. Another new approach, set to launch later this year, will allow applicants to bid for higher incentives through a competitive grant proposal format.

Track 1 provides fixed, up front capacity-based incentives for solar PV systems that offset common area and tenant loads.

Track 2 offers higher incentives above the Track 1 rates for projects that include additional benefits to the tenants. Track 2 incentives will be awarded every six months through a competitive process. Applications will be accepted in the first and third quarters of each year and incentives will be awarded in the second and fourth quarters.

Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing

To qualify for MASH Track 1 or Track 2 incentives, a property must meet the definition of “low-income residential housing” per Public Utilities Code 2852 and have an occupancy permit for at least two years prior to applying for incentives.

Applications for MASH Track 1 and Track 2 incentives are expected to be available in 1Q 2009.

For more information on the California Energy Center's MASH program contact the Program Manager, Jeremy Hutman, at 858-244-7281, Jeremy.Hutman@energycenterorg.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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