The SOMAH program provides substantial incentives for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on multifamily affordable housing, making installation costs more economical for property owners. Participating contractors can bring customers into the SOMAH program, as well as bid on projects that have earmarked SOMAH funding.

As an eligible SOMAH contractor, you benefit from:

  • Incentives that cover an average of 60% of the total system cost for your customers
  • Access to an online portal to bid on new projects
  • A growing customer base
  • Resources for hiring a skilled workforce through SOMAH’s online job portal

The Contractor Marketing Toolkit includes resources you and your sales team can present to prospective customers to explain SOMAH's benefits and more.

Download the Marketing Toolkit

A SOMAH contractor checking a solar panel system installation

Becoming an eligible SOMAH contractor or subcontractor is easy. You must:

  • Have an active A, B, C-10 or C-46 license from the California Contractors State License Board
  • Complete an online SOMAH contractor eligibility workshop
  • Remain in good standing with the SOMAH program

While not required, we recommend solar installation contractors receive certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

Upcoming SOMAH Contractor Workshops

Solar contractors working onsite project

Contractors may apply for SOMAH incentives on behalf of property owners.

Key application steps

  1. Request upfront technical assistance (optional). Track A starts here.
    • -Property owners applying through a contractor will likely forego upfront technical assistance and will move directly to a reservation request.
  2. Request a reservation and submit your deposit (if applicable). Track B starts here.
  3. Demonstrate compliance with energy efficiency requirement.
  4. Demonstrate project progress.
  5. Claim your incentive.

Applications are processed via our online application portal, PowerClerk.

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Solar contractor working on a SOMAH installation project

At least 51% of the solar energy system's electric output must directly offset tenant load and be provided to tenants in the form of virtual net energy metering (VNEM).

VNEM is a billing arrangement that allows a single solar PV system to offset both multiple common areas and tenant usage, even if they are on different utility meters. Using this method, each utility account is credited with a portion of the electricity generated by the PV system.

View VNEM Toolkit

The annual reduction occurs at the 12-month point from the program launch date, which is July 1, 2019 and is reduced by either 5% or based on the National Renewable Energy Lab’s cost analysis (whichever is less).

For current information on funding availability, waitlists and incentive rates please visit the funding and waitlist page.

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Contractors on SOMAH projects are required to hire eligible job trainees for SOMAH installations and meet trainee wage requirements. The number of trainees and required work hours depend on the size of the system installation. The following resources are available to support contractors in meeting the requirement:

  • A job board to post and manage open SOMAH trainee positions
  • A resume bank where contractors can search for eligible trainees
  • A job training organization directory
  • Resources for trainees to support their experience and further professional development

Learn More

Group of solar contractors assessing SOMAH solar panel installation

Looking to find potential projects in your area? Visit the Eligible SOMAH Properties Map to find potential leads.

View Map

The SOMAH program includes requirements for equipment ratings, warranties, performance monitoring and tenant/common area load split. Contractors should review all program requirements in the program handbook before starting the application process.

View Program Handbook

Any member of the public or program stakeholder may report a perceived conflict of interest to the SOMAH Program Administrator.

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Progress Payment Pathway

Progress payments can address capital barriers to participation by allowing for a partial incentive payment at an earlier milestone. Progress payments may open the program to smaller contractors who face capital constraints, especially with complications due to COVID-19.

Learn more