December 14, 2017– After more than two years, the California Public Utilities Commission voted to implement the Solar On Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program, the result of Assembly Bill 693 that was signed by Governor Brown in October 2015. AB 693 allocates 1 billion dollars for this program over the next 10 years.
The SOMAH program provides incentives for affordable housing owners to install solar PV on their properties. The incentive structure allows an owner to offset significant common area electricity expense and provide enormous savings for their tenants.
The program will work for both solar leases or PPAs and cash purchases of a PV system. Discounted incentives are available when resyndicating LIHTC projects, but the real value is that the program allows existing properties between refinancings to go solar with no upfront costs. The program has a special focus on tenants, essentially allowing housing sponsors to provide free solar for residents at the same time they offset the property electricity budget. The rebates range from as much as $3.20/watt for a tenant benefitting system to as low as $.60/watt for a common area system. The most common rebate will most likely be $2.25/watt for tenant load and $.80/watt for common area load.
While the program was voted on December 14, 2017, it will not be ready for prime time until mid-September 2018. The Commission will be choosing a statewide Program Administrator and then the PA will provide the rules for participation that will largely be based on the current MASH Program. There are a host of rebate compliance issues that Everyday Energy’s expert team can navigate and manage on behalf of the owner so you can access this money with little to no hassle. It is important to identify eligible properties so that we can work up a financial analysis and your property will be ready when the Program opens in summer 2018.
What properties qualify?
Deed restricted affordable housing with at least 10 years of affordability left. Additionally, 80% of the tenants must have an AMI of 60% or less. However, if your property is located in a Cal Enviroscreen Disadvantaged Community, only 20% of the tenants need to be at 80% or less of AMI.
How does the SOMAH Program help my portfolio?
The SOMAH Program will reduce or eliminate your common area electricity expense while providing your tenants a direct benefit in the form of a lower electricity bill, thus supporting your low-income residents, providing a marketing advantage, increasing your NOI, hedging against ongoing utility rate increases, and helping to stabilize your affordable housing asset.
Everyday Energy has been providing solar PV exclusively to affordable housing in California for the past 9 years and stands ready to secure funding for your project. Not only have we installed the most solar PV on multifamily affordable housing in California through the MASH program, we also originated the legislation that created the new SOMAH program. Everyday Energy is proud to be the leading experts on affordable housing solar in California.
Now it is time for you to take advantage of this $1 Billion opportunity to utilize a hassle free solar service and incentive for your properties and save.
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