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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Solar Energy

Solar Incentives for Multifamily and Affordable Housing Developments

Solar PV incentives help multi-family housing and affordable housing development more affordable with California solar incentives.

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California Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Incentives Can Reduce Cost of Solar for Affordable Housing Projects by 75%

Affordable housing developers and building owners are racing to qualify for new California funds designed to dramatically lower the cost of solar power for multifamily housing buildings. The new program, administered through the California Solar Initiative, was allocated in March of 2009.

Affordable housing developers and building owners can power your properties with clean, renewable solar energy and reduce ongoing electricity costs significantly, with the government covering the majority of the solar installation bill.

The California Solar Initiative (CSI) provides financial incentives for installing solar technologies through a variety of smaller sub-programs. Of the total $3.2 billion in total funding for the CSI, $216 million has been set aside for programs to help fund photovoltaic installations on low-income housing.

California Solar Initiative

The California Solar Initiative offers cash back for installing solar on your home or business. California is striving to create thousands of megawatts of new solar-generated electricity, moving the state towards a clean energy future.

The California Solar Initiative is part of the Go Solar California campaign and builds on 10 years of state solar rebates offered to customers in California's investor-owned utility territories: Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E.) The California Solar Initiative is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Federal Solar Incentives

The Federal Investment Tax Credit for Commercial and Business owned systems is 30 percent of net system cost with no cap. The IRS current federal Form 3468 is available at In the past, this credit could be carried forward fifteen or back three years. It's not clear if this has changed.

Business owned systems may also be eligible for MACRS 5-year Accelerated Depreciation using IRS federal form 4562. For more info on commercial tax benefits and for updates on the CSI & IRS rules and forms, download the online version of the article at:

A source for information on all state and federal incentive programs around the country is available at the DSIRE project:

The Solar Energy Industries Association ( has put together a "Guide to Federal Tax Incentives for Solar Energy," available for free at

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