Governor Signs SB 1477: Incentives for New Low-Emissions Affordable Homes

During the Global Climate Summit last week, the Governor signed SB 1477 (Stern), which will incentivize low-emissions technologies for affordable housing. SB 700 (Weiner), which will incentivize energy storage, is currently on the Governor’s desk.

Recognizing that we need climate solutions that support new affordable housing, the California Housing Partnership worked with housing, energy equity, environmental and industry organizations on these two bills.

Steph Wang, Policy Director

In May, the California Energy Commission mandated that all new low-rise multifamily homes include solar panels starting in 2020. The California Housing Partnership strongly supported the Commission’s decision to provide flexibility for housing developers to incorporate alternate emissions-cutting options like community solar, energy storage and energy management solutions. However, we recognized that nonprofit affordable housing developers would still need additional incentives to cover these costs.

SB 1477 (Stern) authorizes the California Public Utilities Commission to allocate up to $50 million per year to two new programs, including the Building Initiative for Low-Emissions Development (BUILD), which will provide incentives for energy storage, solar thermal and other technologies to help new buildings reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The California Housing Partnership applauds Senator Stern for setting aside 30 percent of BUILD incentive funds for new affordable housing. Many thanks to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH), the California Housing Consortium, and the Association for Energy Affordability for their support.

SB 700 (Weiner) will, if signed by the Governor, extend the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) to fund incentives to encourage energy storage for an additional five years. The California Public Utilities Commission has reserved 25% of SGIP funds for use on low-income homes and in disadvantaged communities. Many thanks to Senator Weiner, California Solar and Storage Association, The Greenlining Institute, NPH, GRID Alternatives, Brightline Defense Project and Rising Sun Energy Center.

Please contact Stephanie Wang, California Housing Partnership’s Policy Director, at if you have any questions about these bills.