The NSHP payment claim submittal deadline is August 31, 2021. This deadline is to satisfy the December 31, 2021, statutory payment disbursal deadline required by Senate Bill 83 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Chapter 24, Statutes of 2015).
The program, which is a key part of the California Solar Initiative (CSI), encouraged solar installations on new energy-efficient residential construction, saving homeowners money on their electric bills and protecting the environment. Most of the CSI programs, including the NSHP, are no longer accepting applications. However, the programs paved the way for continued growth in rooftop solar.
- The Million Solar Roofs Initiative started in 2004 to support the integration of smart, innovative, and environmentally friendly technologies to improve the state's ability to meet peak electricity demand while cutting energy costs for homeowners. The initiative established California as a world leader in the use of solar technology.
- In 2006, Senate Bill 1 (Murray, Chapter 132, Statutes of 2006) created CSI to implement the goals of the initiative.
- The goals of the CSI were to install 3,000 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity by 2017, establish a self-sufficient solar industry within 10 years, and place solar energy systems on 50 percent of new California homes by 2020.
- The CSI authorized the Energy Commission to administer the NSHP with a budget of $400 million.
- The program provides financial incentives and other support for solar installation on new and energy-efficient home construction.
- The program works with homebuilders to encourage installation of solar on highly energy-efficient homes at the time the home is built.
- Theprogram has provided a bridge to achieving California’s goal for zero-net-energy homes.
- The programs established the goals to install 360 MW of solar capacity and place solar systems on 50 percent of California’s new homes.
- While bringing costs down, the program helped teach the building community to adopt solar technologies as part of its standard construction.
- The program has met or is on track to meeting all goals.
- The program has contributed to developing a self-sustaining solar homes market.
- Installing solar on a home was expensive before the CSI. The CSI incentive programs, including the NSHP, offered critical financial support to help install solar photovoltaic systems on California homes and businesses.
- A 2018 tracking progress report on renewable energy highlighted how California benefited from the dramatic decrease in the cost of renewables. In 2006, at the start of the CSI program, the cost of residential solar installation was $9.2 per watt, with 24,202 solar installations. By 2018, the price dropped to $3.7 per watt, with 888,561 solar installations. These programs increased the demand for solar systems and helped reduce costs.
- The need for incentives has decreased as costs decreased over time. The CSI programs were designed to decrease incentives over time and eventually end.
- NSHP no longer approves new project reservations as of June 2018. The program will pay claims for approved projects through 2021.
- The Energy Commission does not have any open programs for residential solar. Check your local utilities or the DSIRE website for potential renewable and efficiency incentive programs.
- Incentive programs helped reduce the cost of solar, paving the way for the Energy Commission adopting the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards that require solar photovoltaic systems to be installed new homes starting January 1, 2020.