The California Energy Commission's New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) program provides financial incentives to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on new residential buildings. These systems support California's goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by helping households generate renewable energy—a key component of zero-net energy buildings. The NSHP aims to install 360 megawatts (MW) of solar PV capacity by the end of the program. In addition to helping create home-grown jobs, the program also saves consumers money on their utility bills.
The updated NSHP program guidelines make the installation of solar on new homes a more efficient process. Improvements include reducing the documentation requirements, as well as enabling new homes to qualify for solar incentives if they comply with—rather than exceed—the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The NSHP program now includes an incentive for west-facing solar energy systems; systems that face west are designed to make the most of the late-day sunshine when electricity demand is greatest.
Eligible projects under NSHP include common areas of housing developments, total building renovations, and certain mixed-use projects. Furthermore, the building must be within the electric service territories of Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, or Bear Valley Electric Service.
The New Solar Homes Partnership program has also taken steps to ensure investments are made in California's most burdened neighborhoods. Funded projects include single- and multi-family affordable housing, and the program offers higher base incentives and extended reservation periods for projects that qualify for the affordable housing option. Investing in California's low-income communities improves public health, quality of life, and energy-cost savings. Estimates from the first quarter of 2015 show 21 percent of installed systems under NSHP were in communities with a median household income of less than $50,000.
- NSHP helps protect against rising energy costs by reducing homeowners' utility bills.
- NSHP moves California closer to its renewable energy goals.
Key Developers and Partners
- California Energy Commission
- KB Homes
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Electric vehicle manufacturing
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Smart grid/solar/wind/fuel cell/advanced energy storage/solar thermal
Zero net energy mixed use, multi-unit housing communities