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Pasadena Water & Power

  • PSI Income-Qualified Solar Incentives

     

    The purpose of the Income-Qualified/Affordable Housing solar incentive category is to offer larger incentives to promote the installation of solar energy on owner-occupied single-family and affordable housing projects that meet the Income-Qualified requirements as defined by the Pasadena Solar Initiative (PSI) program.  

     The Income-Qualified/Affordable Housing solar incentive follows the requirements of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) and the New Solar Home Partnership (NSHP) program.  

     The Affordable Housing/Income-Qualified solar incentive may be periodically evaluated and modified to ensure progress towards the program goals and objectives.  

     Incorporating energy and water efficiency measures to a house or a facility before designing and installing a solar system is the best approach to save energy, water, and money for customers. In order to participate in the Income-Qualified solar incentive, customers must complete all the energy and water-saving home improvements offered through the Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP) by Pasadena Water and Power in partnership with Southern California Gas Company.  

     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.    

     As an example, a customer has used an average of 6,000 kWh per year for the last 3 years. It’s estimated that completing all the ESAP measures the customer’s electrical consumption will be reduced by approximately 1,200 kWh per year. A solar system for this customer should be designed to generate no more than 4,800 kWh annually as this would be the maximum solar incentive the customer is eligible for.

    All existing PSI requirements, guidelines, and installation process apply for customers applying for the affordable housing incentive except for the areas listed below. 
     

    REQUIREMENTS

    1. 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.  
    2. 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.  
    3. 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.  
    4. 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.  
    5. Each residential dwelling unit for which a solar energy system is being installed must have a PWP account and individual electrical utility meter.  
    6. 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.    

    ADDITIONAL SUBMITTALS REQUIRED IN POWERCLERK FOR INCOME-QUALIFYING SOLAR APPLICATIONS

    REQUIRED AT THE "APPLICATION REQUEST" STEP 

    1.  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. 
    2.  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.  
    3.  Energy Efficiency Plan: Provide an energy audit and a detailed list of the PROPOSED energy and water-saving home improvements offered through the Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP) for the project site listing annual energy savings (kWh) and annual water savings (gallons) for each of the ESAP measures.

    REQUIRED AT THE "INCENTIVE PAYMENT REQUEST" STEP 

    1.  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.  

    SIZE OF SYSTEM

     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.  

     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.    

    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. 
     

    WARRANTY

    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.

    LEASES AND POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

    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. 
     

    COMMENTS/QUESTIONS

     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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