31 Mar Community Solar Programs in Sacramento
Over the past few years, California has started approving and implementing more community solar options for its residents. In fact, a community solar program was recently approved for Sacramento. Community solar programs give low-income families, renters, builders, and all other residents equal access to solar energy. At Energy Saving Pros, we look forward to seeing solar energy become even more accessible in California. Continue reading to learn more about community solar in Sacramento.
What Is Community Solar?
Some homes and businesses are not eligible for solar panel installation. For instance, if you live in an apartment, condo, or rental home, you likely are not allowed to install solar panels on your roof. Even if you do own a home, too much shade on the roof could make your home ineligible for solar panel installation and can make new builds exempt from the Title 24 Requirements.
Community solar, however, provides everyone in the area with access to solar power generated by a local solar farm. Community solar programs are also a more affordable option for low-income households. Although California is a leader in solar, the state still has a long way to go in implementing community solar.
How Community Solar Programs Benefit California Residents
Expanding access to solar-generated power allows more California residents to receive credits on their utility bills. Community solar, much like power purchase agreements, helps residents save money by reducing or eliminating up-front installation costs. With more affordable solar options, low-income households can join their communities in becoming more energy-efficient.
Californians can also improve their local communities and economies by participating in community solar programs. For instance, solar farms deliver cleaner air and provide more job opportunities to local residents.
More solar power means less fossil fuel consumption. By expanding its community solar programs, California can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide cleaner air to its residents. And, because solar energy is pollution-free and reduces dependence on non-renewable energy sources, switching to solar power helps communities leave a smaller environmental footprint.
Sacramento Community Solar Program
In 2020, the Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards code went into effect, requiring all new builds to include solar panel installations. As a result, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)’s community solar proposal was approved the same year.
SMUD is a community-owned, not-for-profit utility provider. The new community solar program from SMUD increases access to solar energy by allowing builders—including organizations like Habitat for Humanity—to meet the requirements of Title 24 at no cost.
Other Community Solar Programs in California
Community Solar Pilot Program
In 2019, the California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) launched the Community Solar Pilot Program. This program was, in fact, the first low-income community solar project approved in California. CSD’s community solar program will provide more access to solar energy for households that aren’t eligible for low-income solar programs.
Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing
The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program was launched in 2019 to increase access to solar power. This community-based program offers financial incentives for installing solar panels on multifamily affordable housing complexes. The SOMAH program helps low-income families reduce their energy costs with community solar power.
Community Solar Green Tariff
In 2018, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created several programs to increase solar access for residents in disadvantaged communities (DACs). One of these programs is the Community Solar Green Tariff program. With this program, residents in DACs can reduce their energy costs even if they are unable to install rooftop solar panels. A community sponsor is required to generate interest and present locations for community solar projects.
Solar Installation Services in California
Wondering if your home or business is eligible for a solar installation? The renewable energy experts at Energy Saving Pros can help you find the best solar solutions for your property. We offer both commercial and residential solar services to Californians in Sacramento and the surrounding areas. Give us a call at 916-259-2501 today to request a free quote.