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Pasadena Water & Power

  • PSI Income-Qualified Program

    The purpose of the Income-Qualified/Affordable Housing Solar Program is to offer larger incentives promote the installation of solar energy on owner-occupied single-family and affordable housing projects that meet the program requirements. 

    This Income-Qualified/Affordable Housing incentive follows the requirements of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) and the New Solar Home Partnership (NSHP) program. To reduce the size solar system needed to power your home, encourage energy efficiency, and save thousands in up-front installation costs it is required that all PSI Income Qualified reduce energy consumption by 15% before the PSI incentive is requested. As described in the “Application Request” section below, all applications must include an energy efficiency audit for your home, along with a list of energy efficiency projects that will be completed to reduce consumption by 15%. Energy-saving actions are the best way to save energy, reduce your energy bills and provide lasting benefits to the environment.

    The Affordable Housing/Income-Qualified Solar Program may be periodically evaluated and modified to ensure progress toward program goals and objectives.

    All existing PSI requirements, guidelines, and installation process apply for customers applying for the affordable housing incentive except for the areas listed below.


    1. The affordable housing project must expressly limit residency in the affordable residential units to persons with very low income as defined by the Health and Safety Code section 50105. This section defines “Very Low Income” households as persons and families at or below 50 percent of area (Los Angeles County) median income, adjusted for family size, and revised annually.

    2. Customers must currently meet income-qualifying levels under PWP’s Electric Utility Assistance Program (EUAP) and be enrolled in the EUAP Program at the time of application. Medical Assistance customers are not eligible. PWP requires certification prior to reserving solar incentive funds.

    3. Qualifying systems must be connected to and serving the energy needs of residential units subject to affordability requirements; and common areas of the building or project, provided a minimum of 80 percent of the units are subject to the affordability requirements. Common areas include, but are not limited to: hallways, recreation rooms, laundry rooms, outdoor, and parking areas.

    4. Eligible projects include existing and new multifamily and single-family developments where at least 80 percent of the project units are reserved for affordable housing households as defined in requirement # 1 for a period of at least 10 years.

    5. Each residential dwelling unit for which a solar energy system is being installed must have a PWP account and individual electrical utility meter.

    6. New affordable housing projects must provide documentation showing energy efficiency for each single family home or multifamily building of at least 15 percent (15%) greater than the requirements of the current Building Energy Efficiency Standards, also known as “Title 24.” Existing affordable housing projects and Income-Qualified applicants must complete Energy Efficiency Measures (EEM) that will reduce electrical consumption by a minimum of 15% compared to the customer’s annual historical electrical usage BEFORE requesting "Permission to Operate" letter from PWP. All EEMs completed will be verified during PWP Field Inspection. 




    1. Income-Qualified Eligibility: Provide proof documents showing the project or the applicant meets the “Very Low Income” definition as required by the program requirements. Examples of proof documents include copies of the most-recent Income Tax returns, Social Security statements, etc.

    2. Income-Qualified 80% Service: Provide proof documents showing electric service for the project or applicant serves at least 80 percent of the project living space or residence of eligible Income-Qualified applicant. Examples of proof documents include incorporating records of institution serving eligible income-qualified residents, property records from the LA Assessor Office, etc. 

    3. Energy Efficiency Plan: Provide an energy audit and a detailed list of energy efficiency measures (EEM) planned for the project site or applicant’s home which will reduce electrical consumption by a minimum of 15% from the customer’s historical annual electrical usage. Samples of accepted EEMs include replacing inefficient lighting, electrical appliances, HVAC units; improvements to the building envelope, attic and wall insulation, daylight measures, etc. Visit PWPweb.com/SaveMoney for a full list of programs and services to help with your energy efficiency projects. 


    1. Electrical Savings Verification: Provide a list of final EEMs completed at the project site or applicant’s home detailing annual electric savings. Make sure to include all pertinent information to account for electrical savings including number of light bulbs or HVAC replaced, type of lights (incandescent, LED, etc.), efficiency rating (SEER, EER, etc.), before-and-after wattage, location (living room, kitchen, etc.) hours of operations, etc.



    Eligible solar energy systems must be sized so that the amount of electricity that is produced offsets part no greater than the end-use customer's electrical needs at the site of installation.

    The maximum incentive paid for a system on single family residential unit is limited to the first 4.0 kW AC of the system.


    Solar energy systems must be installed in conformance with the manufacturer’s specifications and with all applicable electrical and building codes and standards.

    Systems must be installed by an appropriately licensed contractor, in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the California Contractors State License Board. Installation contractors must have an active A, B, C-10, or a C-46 license.


    All solar energy systems must have a minimum ten-year warranty provided in combination by the manufacturer and installer to protect against defective workmanship, system or component breakdown or degradation in electrical output.


    Solar energy systems that are leased by an end-use customer or provide electricity to an end-use customer under a power purchase agreement (PPA) are eligible under the PSI program.

    Lease agreements and PPAs must have an initial term of no less than 10 years and must provide the lessee or customer the option to renew the agreement, purchase the system, or remove the system at the end of the initial term of the agreement.

    If a lease agreement or PPA for a system that received funding from the PSI program is terminated and the system is removed from the building on which it was originally installed before the expiration of the initial term, the full PSI incentive received by the applicant must be repaid by the Lessor or system owner to Pasadena Water and Power.


    If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions regarding the Pasadena Solar Initiative, please call the Answerline at 626-744-6970 or write to solar@cityofpasadena.net 


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