SolarCity introduced a new solar service that makes it possible for affordable housing developers, builders and residents to pay less for solar electricity than they currently pay for utility power. In California, the new service will be delivered in partner with Everyday Energy.
SolarCity will finance and install solar power systems on rooftops and carports of affordable housing communities. The electricity generated by the systems is distributed among common areas and individual housing units. Residents receive credits on their utility bills based on the amount of solar electricity allocated to their units, made possible by a policy called virtual net metering. Customers in California will enjoy Everyday Energy’s help, which analyzes residents' electricity usage and helps developers direct savings to individual residential units based on solar production and usage.
The new service joins a growing list of community solar models that extend solar cost saving opportunities to renters that have previously been available only to homeowners. The new service and the collaboration with Everyday Energy will extend SolarCity’s access to more families and providing them with more affordable solar power.SolarCity also makes it possible for single family home builders to install affordable solar power on new homes before the owners even move in on the basis of the company’s recent partnership formed with Habitat for Humanity of San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys to provide affordable solar power on 78 new homes for returning U.S. veterans.
The new service is supported by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)'s Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program and the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) administered by the California Energy Commission.
"The Legislature has supported policies such as MASH and NSHP because they are designed to give an extra boost to a market that is difficult to transform," said Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens). "These programs also support the financial innovation that must occur in order to ensure that solar is a mainstream alternative for not just a few, but for all communities in California."
(Photo: screenshot of SolarCity's page Solar for Affordable Housing)