Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH)

Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program provides incentives for solar energy photovoltaic systems for multifamily affordable housing. Those interested in learning more about the SOMAH Program should visit the program's website: www.calsomah.org.

Key Components of the SOMAH Program:

  • A budget up to $100 Million annually from the electric IOU's Greenhouse Gas Auction Proceeds for this solar program
  • Incentive levels for customers range from $1.49 to $2.97 per AC Watt for load serving tenants and $0.56 to $1.02 per AC Watt for load serving common areas (10/30/21 through 06/30/22), depending on tax credit usage for the project, and step-down each year
  • Encourages solar system installations in California's disadvantaged communities across the state
  • Emphasizing the explicit goal that incented solar systems lower tenant energy bills
  • Develop, by December 31, 2030, at least 300 megawatts of installed solar generating capacity

Implementation of AB 693 to establish SOMAH

Assembly Bill (AB) 693 (Eggman, Chapter 582, 2015) provides financial incentives for the installation of solar energy photovoltaic systems on multifamily affordable housing properties throughout California.  The statute, among other things, prescribes criteria for participation in the incentive program; sets targets for installation of solar PV systems; identifies various required elements for the Program; and gives direction to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on the program administration.

In response to the legislation, the CPUC, in proceeding R.14-07-002, issued a Ruling to stakeholders seeking input on the design, implementation, eligibility and other programmatic issues for the new program.  Nearly 25 parties provided over a thousand pages of comments in response to the ruling.

In December 2017, the CPUC issued a decision, D.17-12-022, which outlines the program design for the SOMAH Program to incentivize solar systems. The Decision builds on many of the program successes and lessons learned from the California Solar Initiative Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing Program, which ends in 2021.

In March 2018, the CPUC's Energy Division selected via a competitive bidding process, a single, statewide program administrator team. The SOMAH Program Administrative team is comprised entirely of non-profit organizations: the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), GRID Alternatives (GRID), the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA), and the California Housing Partnership Corporation (CHPC). On July 1, 2019 SOMAH began accepting applications.

Applying for SOMAH Program Incentives

For information on how to apply for incentives in your area, please go the SOMAH Program website and select your utility provider under “Ready To Apply”: https://calsomah.org/apply

Implementation Guidance

Energy Division IOU SOMAH Budget Guidance Memo

 

Recent News for SOMAH

Upcoming Events for SOMAH Proceedings and Reports

  • Verdant has issued a draft Vendor Analysis Report for public comment due January 18th. The Vendor Analysis Report assessed SOMAH program administration effectiveness to-date and provides recommendations. Comments should use the template provided and can be submitted by email to amy(at)verdantassoc.com. The draft report and comment template are available here (Draft Report and Comment Template).

 

 

 

SOMAH Decisions, Rulings, and Advice Letters

The CPUC Rulemaking R.14-07-002 currently handles all issues related to the SOMAH Program.  Decisions and regulatory matters include:

  • Decision D.17-12-022 (December 2017) establishes the SOMAH program
  • Resolution E-4987 (April 2019) approves with modifications the SOMAH Program Handbook Program Implementation Plan in Compliance with Decision (D.)17-12-022
  • Advice Letter 3285-E Disposition (April 2019). Disposes of San Diego Gas and Electric's advice letter that provides information regarding establishment of a Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing Balancing Account (SOMAHBA) pursuant to D.17-12-022
  • Decision D.19-03-015 (April 2019) modifies D.17-12-022 providing flexibility in IOU administrative expenditures. It also outlines options regarding auditing or review of the SOMAH program and establishes co-funding and incentive agreement deadlines
  • Decision D.20-04-012 (April 2020).The decision determines revenues are available and that there is adequate participation and interest in SOMAH program, continuing authorization of allocation of funds to the SOMAH program through June 30, 2026
  • Resolution E-5054 (June 2020) The Resolution approves revisions to the SOMAH Program Handbook to limit participation of a photovoltaic (PV) project to either the SOMAH Program or the MASH Program
  • Parties that wish to join a proceeding can learn more about the process here
  • Disposition of CSE Advice Letter 133-E/133-E-A (April 2022) which approves SOMAH Program Handbook 5th Addition.

If you wish to receive notice of proceeding information the public can join the proceeding as “information only,” follow the instructions here.

 

SOMAH IOU Semi-Annual Administrative Expense Reports

Pursuant to D.19-03-015, the electric IOUs must jointly file and serve semi-annual reports detailing their administrative expenses incurred in support of the SOMAH Program for the preceding six full months and show cumulative totals. The revised Excel template (as of December 2021) for the IOUs is here.

  • The AMENDED January 21, 2022 Report can be downloaded here (PDF, Excel)
  • The July 21, 2021 Report can be downloaded here (PDF, Excel)
  • The AMENDED January 21, 2021 Report can be downloaded here (PDF, Excel)
  • The July 21, 2020 Report can be downloaded here (PDF, Excel)
  • The January 21, 2020 Report can be downloaded here (PDF, Excel)
  • The July 21, 2019 Report can be downloaded here (PDF, Excel)

 

SOMAH Program Semi-Annual Progress and Expense Reports

Pursuant to Appendix B of D.17-12-022 the Program Administrator submits semi-annual reports to the Director of the Energy Division on progress of the SOMAH program. These reports are also available on California Distributed Generation Statistics.

  • The January 31, 2022 Report can be downloaded (PDF, Excel)
  • The July 30, 2021 Report can be downloaded (PDF, Excel)
  • The January 1, 2021 Report can be downloaded (PDF, Excel)
  • The July 30, 2020 Report can be downloaded  (PDF)
  • The January 1, 2020 Report can be downloaded (PDF)

The most recent SOMAH Program Semi Annual Expense Reports can also be downloaded on DG Stats here.

 

SOMAH Evaluation Reports

Pursuant to AB 693, D.17-12-022 and PU Code 2870(j)(1) and PU Code 913.8, Energy Division is directed to provide regular evaluations to the legislature of the SOMAH Program.

  • The SOMAH Vendor Analysis Evaluation Report "Response to Recommendations" (RTR) Draft Table is now available for public review and comment.  Here is the RTR Comment Template.  Please submit all comments to  Sarah Lerhaupt, sarah.lerhaupt (at) cpuc.ca.gov by May 16, 2022. Please use “SOMAH Vendor Analysis RTR Comment” in the subject line.
  • The final Vendor Assessment Report (February 2022) is attached here.
  • The SOMAH Phase 2 Evaluation Report “Response to Recommendations” Table is available here. The SOMAH PA and the IOUs have responded to public comments here
  • The Phase II Evaluation Report is available here (Appendix Zip File).
  • The Draft Phase II 2021 Evaluation Report Webinar Slides can be located here.
  • The Final Phase II 2020 SOMAH Process and Impact Assessment Research Plan can be located here.
  • The Phase II 2020 SOMAH Process and Impact Assessment Draft Report Webinar Slides can be located here.
  • The Final Phase I 2020 SOMAH Process and Impact Assessment Report can be located here.
  • The 2020 SOMAH Process and Impact Assessment Draft Report Webinar Slides can be located here.
  • The 2020 SOMAH Process and Impact Assessment Draft Research Plan Public Webinar Slides can be located here.
  • The Final 2020 SOMAH Process and Impact Assessment Research Plan can be located here.