The California Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program is intended to bring solar energy to affordable housing developments in order to save residents money on their electric bills. The program began back in 2009, with government funding covering solar costs for affordable housing developers and building owners. The aim of the MASH program is to drive solar adoption across the California affordable housing sector. Solar panels will be retrofitted to rooftops and/or carports on-site.
MASH incentives could reduce solar costs for affordable housing projects by 75%. Incentive rates vary depending on the nature of the solar project in question, and whether the project provides power directly to tenants, or to common areas. Spurring the development and growth of solar for low-income households and communities is vital, as those in low-income areas stand to see even greater benefits from solar deployment than those in high-income areas.
Goals of the California MASH Program
The core goals of the MASH Program, according to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) are:
Stimulation of solar power adoption in affordable housing sector
Improved energy utilization
Improved quality of affordable housing through solar and energy efficiency technologies
Decreased electricity use and costs without increasing household expenses for occupants
Increased awareness of solar benefits among community
Maximized overall benefit to ratepayers
Provision of training & employment opportunities in solar sector
Qualifying for the California MASH Program
Projects in the following utility company regions, which fall under the definition of “low-income residential housing”, may be eligible for MASH incentives:
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
Southern California Edison (SCE)
Additionally, multi-family residential buildings must be financed by one of the following in order to qualify for the MASH Program:
Low-income housing tax credits
Tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds
General obligation bonds
Local, state, or federal grants and loans
An affordable housing complex may also qualify for the MASH Program if at least 20% of units are rented/sold to lower-income residents.
MASH Incentive Rates
The California MASH Program offers fixed, up-front, capacity-based incentives for qualifying solar projects. This table, courtesy of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), details incentive rates for the program.
MASH Program Milestones
According to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the MASH Program has reached the following milestones as of June 2019:
41.9 MW of interconnected solar capacity
17.0 MW expected from active reservations
480 MASH projects statewide
$162.3 million worth of incentives paid to completed projects
Tens of thousands of tenant units now participating in Virtual Net Metering as a result of the MASH Program
For a comprehensive guide to California Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program with complete details of incentives and qualification criteria, please consult the MASH Program Handbook.
If you want to pursue a California solar project then reach out to YSG Solar today. Whether you’re interested in residential solar, commercial solar, or community solar, we will identify the ideal project for your needs. If you’ve got roof space or unused land, YSG is also seeking viable roofs/land to develop solar projects. Send us an email, or call at 212.389.9215 to get started.
YSG Solar is a project development vehicle responsible for commoditizing energy infrastructure projects. We work with long-term owners and operators to provide clean energy assets with stable, predictable cash flows. YSG's market focus is distributed generation and utility-scale projects located within North America.