While many business across California are already cutting costs with solar PV and battery storage, the affordable housing sector has yet to realize the benefits that this innovative technology combination can provide. A new report has found that solar+storage can significantly reduce electric bills for California multifamily affordable housing property owners and renters, to virtually zero in some cases. These findings are particularly important in light of the passage of California’s Multifamily Affordable Housing Solar Roofs program, which provides up to $1 billion for the deployment of solar systems in affordable housing across the state, making it the largest program of its kind in the country.
The report, produced by California Housing Partnership, Center for Sustainable Energy and Clean Energy Group, reaches several groundbreaking conclusions:
- Under current utility rate tariffs, the combination of solar and storage technologies could virtually eliminate electric bills for some owners of affordable rental housing.
- The addition of storage technologies has the potential to nearly double stand-alone solar electricity bill savings at about a third of the cost of solar.
- The addition of battery storage to solar improves the economics of each property analyzed across all utility territories, reducing project payback by over three years in some cases.
In this webinar, presented by Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project, report authors discuss their findings and the implications for California affordable housing and address questions from the audience.
- Lew Milford, President, Clean Energy Group
- Seth Mullendore, Project Manager, Clean Energy Group
- Wayne Waite, Policy Director, California Housing Partnership
- Sachu Constantine, Director of Policy, Center for Sustainable Energy
- Dr. Zach Ernst, Director of Analytics, Geli
The report, “Closing the California Clean Energy Divide: Reducing Electric Bills in Affordable Multifamily Rental Housing with Solar+Storage,” is available here.
Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.
An extended Q&A from this webinar is available as a pdf here.
There have been a number of significant developments in AB 693 since the webinar. On July 8th, the California Public Utilities Commission issued a ruling seeking proposals and comments on implementation of AB 693. The ruling required that full implementation proposals and comments be filed by August 3rd.
Under the leadership of Wayne Waite at the California Housing Partnership, a coalition of nonprofit organizations, including both affordable housing and environmental justice advocacy groups, prepared a comprehensive proposal for implementation of AB 693. Based on analysis provided by Geli and Clean Energy Group, the proposal includes support for the inclusion of storage devices within the program’s incentive structure. If included in final program implementation, this would mark the first time that a low-income housing program specifically delivers incentives for a full suite of clean energy technologies – solar, efficiency, and storage. A copy of the full nonprofit proposal is available here.
Submitted comments and proposals are now open for a reply comment period, which closes on August 16th. As the process moves forward, we are planning a series of webinars to discuss some of the key issues addressed in the submitted AB 693 proposal, such as consumer protection and ensuring tenants directly benefit from this type of public clean energy investment.