In my previous blog on GREEN updates, I highlighted new funding opportunities in sustainable housing, upcoming programs, and policy changes. The California Housing Partnership wants to ensure that multifamily affordable housing properties have the necessary resources to meet ongoing building and climate requirements. This digest continues with program and policy updates including building codes and Time of Use electricity rates, and highlights funding opportunities for energy efficiency and solar improvements.
Funding for Energy Efficiency, Solar and Energy Storage
CPUC’s Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH)
California Housing Partnership is helping to implement the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) new SOMAH program that will be funded at up to $100,000,000 per year for 10 years, depending on cap and trade proceed levels. It is limited to multifamily affordable housing properties served by Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Liberty, PacifiCorp, and Community Choice Aggregators that have Virtual Net Energy Metering tariffs. The draft Handbook and workshop slides are available at the CalSOMAH website. We will announce a webinar in the fall to explain how to access these incentives. Please contact Blanca de la Cruz for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP) Farmworker Projects
LIWP is currently targeting energy efficiency and solar improvements at farmworker housing. At the end of June, state policymakers allocated another $9.5M to LIWP programs, setting aside $2M for farmworker housing. Please contact Blanca de La Cruz for more information: email@example.com.
LIWP’s Community Solar Pilot Program
California Department of Community Services and Development anticipates making 2 to 6 awards for community solar PV projects that are at least 250 kW, with no single award exceeding $3,000,000. Awards will consider various criteria including direct economic value to subscribers and community engagement. Responses to the Notice of Funding Availability are due August 31st. Project proposals are due October 2nd – please see Program Guidelines for more detail. Please contact Collin Tateishi for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CPUC’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) Equity Budget
SGIP Equity Budget sets aside rebates for energy storage systems at low-income properties that are installed on the customer’s side of the utility meter. Incentives are available through 2020, but limited to customers in Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric service territories. Please contact Collin Tateishi for more information: email@example.com.
PG&E’s Multifamily Programs and Services
PG&E’s Multifamily Owner Services is a free service that provides owners, managers, and other professionals with a single point of contact to identify programs, technical assistance, cash incentives, financing, and other resources for their multifamily properties. Programs include PG&E’s Energy Savings Assistance (ESA), Middle Income Direct Install (MIDI), Electric Vehicle Charge Network (EV) as well as Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements (BAMBE) among other opportunities. Submit an online interest form at www.pgemultifamily.com or call the hotline at 1-866-352-7457.
Potential Program: Incentives for New Low-Emissions Housing Program – SB 1477
If passed, this bill would create an incentive program with a 30 percent set-aside for new low-income residential housing located in Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric service territories. Incentives are for energy storage, solar thermal and other technologies to help new buildings reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It would not include solar PV. This bill has cleared the Senate and is now being reviewed by Assembly appropriations. The California Housing Partnership and Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California are in support. Please contact Stephanie Wang for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Potential Program: Energy Storage Initiative – SB 700
If passed, this bill would extend the Self Generation Incentive Program (energy storage) for five years. This bill has cleared the Senate and is now being reviewed by Assembly appropriations. The California Housing Partnership and Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California are in support. Please contact Stephanie Wang for more information: email@example.com.
Building Energy Efficiency Standards and Solar Requirements
The California Energy Commission’s new energy efficiency standards and solar requirements will impact all new construction and rehab projects beginning January 1, 2020. All residential properties (low-rise and high-rise) must be “solar-ready” unless they install a solar PV system. Low-rise properties (three or fewer stories) must install a solar PV system but have access to various exceptions and offsets. This California Housing Partnership fact sheet summarizes the solar-ready and solar PV requirements, exception and offsets. Please contact Collin Tateishi for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time of Use Electricity Rates
The California Housing Partnership’s blog, 5 Things Affordable Housing Property Owners should know about Default TOU Electricity Rates outlines key dates, trends and strategies for multifamily affordable housing property owners to consider before their tenants are moved to new electricity rates in 2019 and 2020. Please contact Collin Tateishi for more information: email@example.com.
Energy Data Access and Reporting
State Compliance (AB 802)
Properties with 50,000 sq. ft. gross floor area or more must benchmark energy performance annually and report data to the California Energy Commission. Properties subject to local benchmarking and reporting requirements may not have to report to the state as long as they comply with local requirements. Properties with 17 or more residential utility accounts must request data from utilities by March 1, 2019 and report data by June 1, 2019. Buildings with less than 5 residential units may be able to access aggregate data if they are served by one common meter (ie. outdoor lighting). For more information, please see the CEC’s Fact Sheet and FAQ Handout.
Los Angeles City Benchmarking and RCx Compliance
The City’s Resource Center and US Green Building Council’s Los Angeles Chapter are offering private workshops and limited-time pro-bono benchmarking to help property owners comply with benchmarking and reporting requirements. Please contact Fernanda Zuin for more information: Fernanda@usgbc-la.org.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will invest $100 million over the next five years to improve energy efficiency in lower-income rental housing. This can support the impact of existing programs like the Home Energy Improvement Program and state Low-Income Weatherization Program for large multifamily properties. Please contact Blanca de la Cruz for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Governor Brown approved two water bills on May 31, 2018 to set new indoor residential water use standards (AB 1668) and regional water use efficiency targets (SB 606), but neither bill provides incentives for water-saving building improvements. As a local water provider, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has diverse program offerings that can help multifamily affordable housing property owners and low-income renters reduce water use and bills. This California Housing Partnership fact sheet summarizes the residential program offerings.
In recognition of the key role that energy and water costs play in the long-term financial feasibility of operating affordable housing, the California Housing Partnership has convened the Green Rental Home Energy Efficiency Network (GREEN) since 2010 to collaboratively increase access to energy efficiency, solar and water conservation resources for low-income renters and affordable housing properties. GREEN includes more than 50 nonprofit and government housing organizations active throughout California with extensive experience with financing, installing and maintaining clean and efficiency energy systems in their multifamily affordable residential properties. Please contact Collin Tateishi at email@example.com for more information about how to engage with GREEN.