The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) Program provides financial incentives for installing photovoltaic (PV) energy systems on multifamily affordable housing. The program will deliver clean power and credits on energy bills to hundreds of thousands of California’s affordable housing residents.

SOMAH’s unique, community-based approach ensures long-term, direct economic benefits for low-income households, helps catalyze the market for solar on multifamily housing and creates jobs.

The SOMAH Program serves utility and community choice aggregator customers in the territories of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Liberty Utilities Company and PacifiCorp. Funded through greenhouse gas allowance auction proceeds, SOMAH has a program budget of up to $100 million annually and an overall target to install 300 megawatts of generating capacity by 2030.

The program is designed to be transparent and accountable to the communities it serves. It is administered by a team of nonprofit organizations, which provides a host of no-cost services to maximize participation and community benefit. Services include comprehensive technical assistance for property owners, tenant education resources and job training. A community advisory council provides input into program development and helps ensure the program maximizes benefits to communities.

    October 8, 2015

    Assembly Bill 693 signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown

    December 14, 2017

    California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued Decision D.17-12-022 creating the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program

    March 29, 2018

    SOMAH Program Administrator (PA) selected by the CPUC

    June 21, 2018

    SOMAH PA is introduced in a webinar

    June 27, 2018

    SOMAH Program Handbook draft released for public comment

    July 12, 2018

    SOMAH Program Handbook Public Workshop held to solicit feedback on the draft Handbook

    July 26, 2018

    Deadline for submitting written comments on the draft SOMAH program Handbook

    October 1, 2018

    SOMAH Program Handbook and Program Implementation Plan submitted to CPUC

    July 1, 2019

    SOMAH Program launches

Assembly Bill (AB) 693 (Eggman), Stats 2015, Chapter 582, created the Multifamily Affordable Housing Solar Roofs Program, funded at up to $100 million annually from the investor-owned utilities’ share of greenhouse gas (GHG) auction proceeds. Senate Bill (SB) 92, adopted with the 2017-2018 State Budget, further clarified the budget for the program. Decision 17-12-022 (December 14, 2017) implemented AB 693 and changed the name of the program to the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) Program to distinguish it from other state's clean energy and low-income solar programs. Decision 17-12-022 established the program’s budget, incentive structure and eligibility policies, among other items.

The SOMAH Program builds on California’s successful Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing program, which helped bring over 30 MW of solar PV online during 2009-18. It is jointly administered by the Association for Energy Affordability, Center for Sustainable Energy and GRID Alternatives, in collaboration with California Housing Partnership Corporation and Rising Sun Energy Center. The SOMAH Program is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission.

SOMAH handbook

The SOMAH Program Handbook describes the detailed requirements for receiving funding under the SOMAH program, as well as services provided by the SOMAH Program Administrator. It includes comprehensive information about the program, including program budget, eligibility requirements, application and incentive reservation processes, job training requirements, incentive structure and payment processes.

Browse the SOMAH Program Handbook or access the PDF version for download.

Browse Handbook

The SOMAH Program Administrator (PA) is committed to full program transparency. In addition to scheduled program evaluations, the SOMAH PA will release data on an ongoing basis to inform stakeholders about program progress and impact. The first planned program evaluation is expected to begin in 2020.

The California Distributed Generation Statistics website is updated weekly with information related to reserved and remaining SOMAH incentives in each participating utility territory and other reports.

Eligible regions and communities

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August 29, 2018
SOMAH Program Administration team announced

May 24, 2019
Advisory Council is selected

July 1, 2019
SOMAH program launches

August 7, 2019
Waitlist is announced

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SOMAH program news releases and media inquiry information