We’ll update this page as our responses change during this rapidly evolving public health crisis.



We initiated the following actions to help slow the spread of the virus while allowing our partners and program participants to continue benefiting from SOMAH. The following changes are current and will remain in place until further notice.


  • Applicants may request to postpone the Energy Efficiency Compliance Milestone requirements if COVID-19 related delays are a barrier to meeting the original deadline. Review the requirements for postponement request.
  • Effective June 15, 2020, application deadlines will revert back to the typical program timelines (example: 20 day suspension period), as outlined in the Program Handbook.
    • From March 17 to June 15, 2020, all application deadlines and milestone due dates were granted a 60-day extension.
  • In-person events, trainings and forums will take place virtually when possible or be postponed or canceled when not.

 

The SOMAH PA is dedicated to offering flexibility during this time. If you are experiencing COVID-19 related delays with your application, extensions will be granted on an as-needed basis. Please contact the SOMAH PA at contact@CalSOMAH.org to request an extension.

According to the California Energy Commission and statewide orders, solar installers are identified as essential workers. All essential workers should continue to follow health and safety guidelines set forth by local and statewide public health offices.

See below for specific information and updates regarding different aspects of the program.

General

  • All submitted applications are continuing to be processed.
  • The team remains available for program and application support.

Application Suspensions

  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 related delays with your application, extensions will be granted on an as-needed basis. Please contact the SOMAH PA at contact@CalSOMAH.org. Please include the Application ID and the reason for the extension request.

Energy Efficiency Compliance Milestone

The SOMAH PA recognizes that on-site energy audits and energy efficiency upgrades may be challenging to complete due to site access restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a temporary program response, projects that have received Reservation Approval may request to postpone the Energy Efficiency Compliance (EEC) Milestone through the EECM Postponement Request Form. *Applications opting to postpone completion of the EECM requirements are still required to complete all EECM requirements no later than the Incentive Claim Milestone due date. Upon SOMAH PA approval of a request form, the application will be open to move into the Proof of Project Milestone (PPM).

  • The completed request form should be uploaded into the “EECM Postponement Request Form” upload field in the PowerClerk application no later than the original EECM due date.
  • Please note that all EECM requirements will still need to be met, and required documentation must be submitted at, or before, the Incentive Claim Milestone.
    • The maximum eligible SOMAH system capacity will still be defined by the Solar Sizing Tool (SST), which may impact the incentive amount. The SOMAH PA is available to provide Technical Assistance, at no cost, to identify energy efficiency opportunities before completing the SST. This is highly encouraged to ensure that systems are not oversized and there are no surprises regarding the final approved incentive amount.

Download Form

  • All requirements need to be met for the SOMAH incentive payment.
  • Workforce requirements
    • Contractors will still be required to meet the job training requirements on all SOMAH projects, including hiring paid job trainees.
    • Construction guidelines and social distancing guidelines still apply as well as restrictions on non-essential activities in regions under shelter-in-place guidelines.
    • Contractors must ensure a safe workplace for all staff and job trainees on the jobsite. Please review the health and safety resources.
    • Where contractors need to limit on-site personnel to follow safety/social distancing guidelines, contractors are encouraged to explore job training roles other than direct installation, such as project design/engineering or commissioning/maintenance.
    • The Resume Bank and Job Board on the Job Training Portal remains active during this time. If contractors are experiencing difficulty hiring job trainees, please contact the SOMAH PA at workforce@calsomah.org.
    • When entering jobs on the Job Training Portal, contractors are encouraged to describe special precautions they will take to keep trainees and employees safe on the jobsite, such as social distancing protocols, providing PPE and special transportation plans.
  • Email and postal delivery of tenant education materials are highly encouraged during this time.
    • If distributing flyers, please exercise caution and mind social distancing guidelines.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Construction

In this webinar, SOMAH hosts Cal/OSHA’s Senior Safety Engineer to provide guidance, best practices and requirements for preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection in the solar construction industry. Learn about recommended sources and preventative measures for keeping you and your crew safe.

video
  • The SOMAH PA remains available to provide remote program services and application support.
  • Upfront technical assistance continues to be provided at no cost. Calls for a one-on-one program overview and/or portfolio review are available at your convenience. Request technical assistance.
  • Prospective property owners are encouraged to apply as new funding is now available. Lock in current incentive rates and secure funds for up to 100% of qualifying project costs.
  • The health and safety of job trainees and all program participants is the main priority of the SOMAH Program Administrator. If you are hired to work on a SOMAH project during COVID-19, please review these health and safety resources. You are entitled to a safe workplace under federal law and are never required to do anything you feel compromises your health and safety.
  • Contractors will still be required to meet the job training requirements on all SOMAH projects, including hiring paid job trainees for project design/engineering, installation, and/or commissioning/maintenance roles.
  • Contractors are responsible for staying up to date on federal, state, and local public health orders and guidance. Some contractors may move forward with hiring trainees to work on SOMAH projects where allowed.
  • Job trainees and contractors are expected to follow federal, state, and local public health orders and guidance designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Take the opportunity to update your resume in the Job Training Portal and continue your solar education. Eligible training programs are listed in the Job Training Organization Directory, and many offer online courses and training.
  • Know Your Rights: Safe and Healthy Workplace in California (OSHA video) | Conozca sus Derechos: Seguridad y salud en el trabajo (OSHA video)
  • How to file a safety complaint with federal and state health officials
  • Tenant education requirements for the SOMAH Program are not substantially impacted during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • We ask that all Host Customers continue to meet Tenant Education requirements by referring to Tenant Education Requirement and prioritize mail or direct delivery and email in languages accessible by all residents 30 days or fewer prior to the start of construction.
  • Please refrain from in-person community events until such gatherings are deemed safe by the state of California and by your local government.
  • Please contact tenants@CalSOMAH.org with any questions or concerns.
  • Community-based organization partners (CBOs) continue to play an important role in the marketing, education and outreach efforts for the SOMAH program.
  • CBOs have refrained from all in-person events until the state of California has deemed it safe to have such gatherings.
  • Please contact CBOs@CalSOMAH.org with any questions or concerns.

The health and safety of our communities are our highest priorities. We will continue to follow state directives, monitor industry conditions and evaluate your feedback so we remain responsive and develop actions that optimize program benefits.

Please contact us if COVID-19 has delayed your SOMAH solar project or impacted your ability to participate in the program.

Contact Us