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New Solar Homes Partnership Makes Solar Systems Accessible to Affordable Housing

A stronger focus on offering incentives for installing solar systems

California Energy Commission

A recent update to the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) Guidebook has brought a stronger focus on offering incentives for installing solar systems in new affordable housing projects.

The higher incentive rebate structure in the update will help make residential solar systems more accessible to affordable housing projects or low-income communities.

To date, the Energy Commission's NSHP program has provided rebates for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems affecting almost 8,000 affordable housing units in California.

Through Sept. 25, the program has approved more than 4,000 applications and 252 megawatts. More than 71,000 solar systems have been installed in residential developments under the program.

The Heritage Commons development in Dixon is one project that benefitted from the program. The development has 114 apartments, with senior citizens occupying most of them.

The Heritage Commons development is the largest affordable housing project in Dixon, a town with a median yearly household income of $72,000.

The NSHP program was elemental in encouraging the project developer -- Neighborhood Partners, LLC -- to install a solar energy system at Heritage Commons. That system consists of three solar PV systems installed on three buildings. The systems serves a 100 percent common area load that includes a laundry room, clubhouse and lounge rooms.

Neighborhood Partners will receive about $36,430 in rebates from the NSHP program for the systems.