SolarCity to bring solar power to affordable housing communities

By Arman Kazemi

October 1, 2015

The largest rooftop solar company in the U.S. has teamed up with a California developer to provide solar power to affordable housing projects across the state.

SolarCity announced its partnership with Everyday Energy last week to bring a more diverse electricity supply to affordable housing communities in California.

With the help of existing state legislation, SolarCity will install and finance solar power systems on rooftops and carports, with the savings passed on to consumers.

According to a release, electricity generated by the new systems will be distributed in both communal living spaces and individual housing units, with utility credits given to residents “based on the amount of solar electricity allocated to their units.”

The project is feasible with the help of funding from the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program, which was recently granted $54 million to install 35 megawatts of new solar capacity in California.

Even with the increasing affordability of rooftop solar technology, public funding is essential to making solar a viable alternative in disadvantaged communities.

“The key to solar growth is to bring it to new audiences,” SolarCity vice-president of communications Jonathan Bass told Green Tech Media. “Today, it would be tough to make the economics work without MASH.”

For its part, Everyday Energy will help SolarCity by analyzing individual residents’ power usage and assigning solar allowances based on usage.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, utilities are the largest living expense shouldered by American families after housing costs.

"We expect the collaboration between SolarCity and Everyday Energy to make it possible for a broad range of multifamily affordable housing communities to save money on energy costs that can instead be spent on food, healthcare and other critical needs," Scott Sarem, CEO of Everyday Energy, said in SolarCity’s release.



Photo Credit: Steve & Michelle Gerdes