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Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) Program

Key Details

  • The Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program is a statewide program.
  • It offers rebates to low-income homeowners to help with the cost of installing a solar electric system.
  • Since its commencement, the SASH Program has installed over 9,000 photovoltaic systems totaling $137.9 million in incentives and over 30 MW of power, benefiting 10,922 low-income households.
  • Systems must be installed by a licensed professional according to the manufacturer's specifications, codes, and standards.

The Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program is a California Solar Initiative strategy. It is administered across the whole state by GRID Alternatives (GRID), a non-profit solar contractor.

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The SASH incentive was accessible to low-income homeowners in the service areas of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). However, the program is now closed to new applicants throughout the state.

The SASH Program was created to fill a need for a comprehensive low-income solar initiative. The program is designed to not only provide financial incentives but also to encourage or provide energy efficiency, workforce development, green job training, and extensive community engagement with low-income communities.

Californians with low incomes can take advantage of the SASH incentive, which offers solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at no cost or at a greatly reduced cost.

With the passage of Assembly Bill 217, the SASH Program has been extended beyond its initial expiration date of 2016. The law also provided new money and new program goals. The Commission set new requirements for energy efficiency programs, workforce development, and incentives in Docket No. D.15-01-027.

The Commission also passed Resolution E-4719 on June 25, 2015, which creates a new TPO model for SASH using AB 217 funds. The TPO model is compliant with D.15-01-027. The model is built to maximize household savings while also providing customer protection. With an extra $54 million thanks to Assembly Bill 218, the SASH Program accepted incentive reservations until December 31, 2021.

The final installations began in early 2022. With the passage of D.15-01-027, the SASH program was reauthorized with an extra $54 million in funding, bringing the total to $108 million. The new program is referred to as "SASH 2.0."

Interested persons can check out the SASH Program Handbook or the Program Administrator's website for more information.

Overview of the SASH 2.0 Program

The primary objective of SASH 2.0 is to ensure that low-income single-family homeowners have affordable access to solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The system is expected to produce a combined capacity of at least 15 MW (CEC-AC).

Another goal of the SASH 2.0 program is to reduce electricity consumption and associated bills without increasing homeowners' out-of-pocket costs. The SASH Program helps low-income homeowners save money on energy costs while bolstering local economies. This will be achieved by leveraging local green-job training and workforce development programs.

The SASH 2.0 Program offers rebates to qualified homeowners to reduce the out-of-pocket price of installing a solar electric system. By doing this, it is expected that solar systems will become more accessible to individuals who have lower incomes.

Achievements of the Single-Family Affordable Housing Program

  • Since the commencement of the Program, there have been over 9,000 PV systems installed and interconnected. This comprises 5,261 systems under SASH 1.0 and 4,421 under SASH 2.0.
  • These projects total $137.9 million in incentives and over 30 MW of solar power.
  • Over 10,922 low-income homeowners have been directed to the utilities' Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) programs by SASH.

SASH 2.0: Program Manager

GRID Alternatives is in charge of the SASH 2.0 program. Across the three Investor-Owned Utility ("IOU") regions of Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), GRID Alternatives is the sole statewide Program Manager for the SASH 2.0 Program (SDG&E).

SASH 2.0: Applicant

Interested parties are responsible for completing and submitting the SASH 2.0 Program application. Applicants also function as the Program Manager's primary point of contact throughout the application process.

Additionally, the SASH 2.0 Program Manager will work directly with the Applicant to assist them in completing the application and gathering the necessary documentation.

The SASH 2.0 Program incentive is restricted to low-income homeowners and excludes commercial and other non-residential projects.

Outside applications and submissions will not be accepted by the Program Manager.


Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the SASH 2.0 Program, applicants must satisfy the minimum requirements listed below:

  • You must be a PG&E, SCE, or SDG&E customer.
  • The project site must be located within the service territory of PG&E, SCE, or SDG&E and receive electric service from one of those utilities.
  • The property must be occupied by the applicant/homeowner.
  • The household's total income must be less than or equal to 80% of the area median income (AMI) based on the most recent income tax return available. Area Median Income is subject to annual alterations based on the income guidelines of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • The home must comply with California Public Utilities Code (P.U.) 2852.

In addition to the above requirements, applicants for incentives under the SASH 2.0 Program must satisfy a few additional conditions. Please visit the website of the California Public Utilities Commission for additional information on these requirements.

Generator System Requirements

The only technologies that qualify for incentives from the SASH 2.0 Program are photovoltaic systems. Solar hot water systems and other non-PV technologies are not qualified for the SASH 2.0 Program incentive.

The system size that qualifies for SASH 2.0 Program incentives will be chosen to have the least effect on electricity costs. The maximum system capacity will be 5kW. (CEC-AC). 1kW CEC-AC is the barest minimum system capacity.

Installation Standards

Installations must reach a minimum performance requirement of 85% of the Design Factor (DF) based on a modified Estimated Performance Based Buydown (EPBB) calculation in order to receive financial incentives from the SASH 2.0 Program.

The system is not eligible for the SASH 2.0 Program incentive if the modified Design Factor is less than 85%. The rebate sum is unaffected by the Design Factor.

Licensed Solar Contractor/ Installer

  • All SASH 2.0-funded programs must be supervised by the Program Manager.
  • The SASH 2.0 Program Manager will either install the systems under its C-10 or C-46 contractor license or hire a third-party solar contractor through the SASH.
  • All photovoltaic systems in California must be installed by licensed professionals. This condition is in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the Contractors State Licensing Board of the State of California (CSLB).
  • All systems must be installed according to the manufacturer's specifications and all applicable electrical and construction codes and standards.
  • Self-installations are not permitted under the SASH 2.0 Program, unlike the CSI general market program.