Skip to page contents

Skip to Navigation


To get e-mail updates about the NSHP Affordable Housing and the CUAC, please enter your name and e-mail address:

You will receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your subscription.

Solar for New Affordable Housing

The information below highlights the provisions and incentives in the NSHP Guidebook for affordable housing applicants.

Because affordable housing projects often face unique challenges and costs with adding PV systems to their developments, the Energy Commission's New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) offers affordable housing projects higher incentives than standard market rate housing projects


The current Expected Performance-Based Incentive (EPBI) for affordable housing projects is approximately $1.85/watt for individual residential units and approximately $1.50/watt for systems on common areas if the PV system primarily serves the residences and 80% or more of the units are restricted-income. Of the overall 400 megawatts (MW) goal for the entire NSHP program, 36 MW is targeted for new affordable housing during the life of the program.


Eligible projects include new single- and multi-family developments. Applicants should refer to the NSHP Guidebook to determine if their project is eligible.

Applicants with affordable housing projects must also satisfy the requirements below:

Regulatory Agreement
The affordable housing project must be undertaken pursuant to sections 50052.5, 50053 or 50199.4 of the California Health and Safety Code, or other affordable housing laws adopted by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Applicants should refer to the NSHP Guidebook for more information. Applicants must demonstrate this by providing documentation identifying the statutory basis under which the project was undertaken.

Individual Metering Requirement
Each residential dwelling unit for which a system is being installed must have an individual meter capable of monitoring and reporting the electricity consumption of that unit.
EXCEPTION: Projects that qualify for virtual net metering (VNM), as adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in decisions including but not limited to Decision 08-10-036 that was modified in Decision 11-07-031, are not required to separately net-meter each residential unit that will be allocated electricity from the solar system

Energy Efficiency
To participate in the NSHP, homes must be highly energy efficient. Documentation is required to show energy efficiency improvements that meet or exceed the current Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

Maintenance and Monitoring Plan
Affordable housing applicants shall develop a maintenance and monitoring plan. This plan should identify specific maintenance, monitoring, and inspections the building or property manager would need to undertake, or have contracted for, in order to ensure that the system produces maximum output over the system's expected life. The Energy Commission reserves the right to request applicants to provide a copy of the plan at any time.

For more information on the NSHP, prospective applicants should refer to the NSHP Guidebook.
Download the NSHP Guidebook.