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Pasadena Water & Power

  • PSI Income-Qualified Solar Incentives  

    PWP offers larger incentives to income-qualified single-family homeowners who are interested in installing solar power through its Pasadena Solar Initiative Program (PSI). These incentives are also available for affordable housing projects.

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     Apply for a Income-Qualified Solar Incentives by Following These Steps:

    Step 1:

    Enroll in one of the three bill payment assistance programs under PWP'sElectric Utility Assistance Program (EUAP).  

    Step 2:

    Complete the energy and water-saving home improvements offered through the Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP) by PWP in partnership with Southern California Gas Company.   

    Step 3:

    Find an installer. Installers must calculate the energy savings for all the proposed ESAP measures in order to properly size the solar system and BEFORE submitting a solar application for a customer. PWP will cap the Income-Qualified solar incentive for a system that will generate energy to offset the customer’s average annual electrical usage for the last 3 years minus the estimated energy savings (kWh) from the completed ESAP measures.  

    Step 4:

    Follow the detailed instructions on our PSI Application Instructions page to ensure you receive the correct incentive.  Income-Qualified solar applications will be required to follow additional guidelines and submit the following supplemental information:    

    Additional Submittals Required In Powerclerk For Income-Qualifying Solar Applications


    •  Income-Qualified Eligibility: Provide proof documents showing the project or the applicant meets the “Very Low Income” definition as required by the program requirements. Examples of proof documents include copies of the most-recent Income Tax returns, Social Security statements, etc. 
    •  Income-Qualified 80% Service: Provide proof documents showing electric service for the project or applicant serves at least 80 percent of the project living space or residence of eligible Income-Qualified applicant. Examples of proof documents include incorporating records of institution serving eligible income-qualified residents, property records from the LA Assessor Office, etc.  
    •  Energy Efficiency Plan: Provide an energy audit and a detailed list of the PROPOSED energy and water-saving home improvements offered through the ESAP for the project site listing annual energy savings (kWh) and annual water savings (gallons) for each of the ESAP measures.  


    • Electrical Savings Verification: Provide a detailed final list of COMPLETED energy and water-saving home improvements at the address listing annual energy savings (kWh) and annual water savings (gallons) for each of the ESAP measures.  


    Additional PSI requirements, guidelines, and installation processes for the Income-Qualified/Affordable Housing solar incentive:  


    • Eligible solar energy systems must be sized so that the amount of electricity that is produced offsets part no greater than the end-use customer's electrical needs at the site of installation.  


    • Solar energy systems must be installed in conformance with the manufacturer’s specifications and with all applicable electrical and building codes and standards. 
    • Systems must be installed by an appropriately licensed contractor, in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the California Contractors State License Board. Installation contractors must have an active A, B, C-10, or a C-46 license.  


    • All solar energy systems must have a minimum ten-year warranty provided in combination by the manufacturer and installer to protect against defective workmanship, system or component breakdown or degradation in electrical output.


    • Solar energy systems that are leased by an end-use customer or provide electricity to an end-use customer under a power purchase agreement (PPA) are eligible under the PSI program.  
    • Lease agreements and PPAs must have an initial term of no less than 10 years and must provide the lessee or customer the option to renew the agreement, purchase the system, or remove the system at the end of the initial term of the agreement.  
    • If a lease agreement or PPA for a system that received funding from the PSI program is terminated and the system is removed from the building on which it was originally installed before the expiration of the initial term, the full PSI incentive received by the applicant must be repaid by the Lessor or system owner to Pasadena Water and Power.  


    • The affordable housing project must expressly limit residency in the affordable residential units to persons with very low income as defined by the Health and Safety Code section 50105. This section defines “Very Low Income” households as persons and families at or below 50 percent of area (Los Angeles County) median income, adjusted for family size, and revised annually.  
    • Residential customers must currently meet income-qualifying levels under PWP’s Electric Utility Assistance Program (EUAP) and be enrolled in the EUAP Program at the time of application. Medical Assistance customers are not eligible. PWP requires certification prior to reserving Income-Qualified solar incentive funds.  
    • Qualifying systems must be connected to and serving the energy needs of residential units subject to affordability requirements; and common areas of the building or project, provided a minimum of 80 percent of the units are subject to the affordability requirements. Common areas include, but are not limited to: hallways, recreation rooms, laundry rooms, outdoor, and parking areas.  
    • Eligible projects include existing and new multifamily and single-family developments where at least 80 percent of the project units are reserved for affordable housing households as defined in requirement # 1 for a period of at least 10 years.  
    • Each residential dwelling unit for which a solar energy system is being installed must have a PWP account and individual electrical utility meter.  
    • New affordable housing projects must provide documentation showing energy efficiency for each single family home or multifamily building of at least 15 percent (15%) greater than the requirements of the current Building Energy Efficiency Standards, also known as “Title 24.” Existing affordable housing projects and Income-Qualified applicants must complete all the applicable energy and water-saving measures offered through the Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP) BEFORE requesting "Permission to Operate" letter from the utility to turn the solar system on. All ESAP completed measures will be verified by PWP staff during PWP Field Inspection of the solar system.  


     If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions regarding the Pasadena Solar Initiative, please call the Answerline at 626-744-6970 or write to solar@cityofpasadena.net.  

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