The Low-income Distributed Generation program provides incentives for new solar generation systems serving residential properties occupied by low-income households. Incentives are paid to Approved Vendors through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from the energy produced by qualifying systems. These incentives are used to offset costs so that the vendor can offer the system to participants with no upfront costs, lower ongoing costs, and additional consumer protections. REC values vary based on the size of the solar installation and the type of property.
- Single Family Residential Properties: Occupied by households with an income of 80% or less Area Median Income (AMI).
- Multifamily Residential, Two- to Four-Unit Properties: At least two of the units are occupied by households with incomes of 80% or less of AMI.
- Multifamily Residential, Five-Unit or Larger Properties: At least half of the units are occupied by households with incomes of 80% or less of AMI.
- For residential buildings of any size, projects will qualify if developed on homes or buildings that qualify for U.S. HUD Project-Based Vouchers or Project-Based Rental Assistance.
The Low-income Distributed Generation program is allocated up to $7.5 million per year. All qualified participants, regardless of property type, are assured no upfront costs and that there will not be ongoing costs or fees that exceed 50% of the value of the energy produced. Eliminating upfront costs helps overcome a common barrier for low-income households that can prevent access to affordable solar.
For large multifamily buildings in which tenants do not pay for their electricity, tenants must receive benefits indirectly via reduced rents, stabilized rents, unit upgrades, or other means; or directly through a subscription to the system which generates energy bill credits. The property owner or manager will be required to demonstrate how they will commit to ensuring those benefits for tenants.