California PUC approves $120 million to help disadvantaged communities go solar

California Building Standards vote

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted yesterday to approve program implementation for the Disadvantaged Communities – Single-family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) program. A major new investment in expanding solar access, DAC-SASH aims to increase the adoption of clean, affordable solar power by low-income households in disadvantaged communities. It builds off of California’s SASH program, which has helped 8,500 low-income families go solar over the last ten years, and provided over 16,500 job training students with hands-on solar installation experience.

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Like SASH, DAC-SASH is administered by GRID Alternatives, a national non-profit leader in making clean energy technology and jobs accessible to underserved communities. The Commissioners’ unanimous vote approves the DAC-SASH Program Handbook and Implementation Plan created by GRID, and allows the program to scale throughout the state’s Investor-Owned Utility territories of Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

“California is a national leader in expanding access to renewable energy to communities that can benefit the most,” said Cathleen Monahan, vice president of program administration with GRID Alternatives. “We are excited to implement a high-impact statewide program that will reduce energy bills for low-income families and create meaningful workforce development while providing robust consumer protection.”

DAC-SASH will provide $8.5 million in incentives annually through 2030 to reduce the cost of going solar for qualifying households, with a focus on communities most impacted by high energy costs. The program will also integrate job training opportunities into every project, creating ladders of opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to access well-paid jobs in California’s solar industry, and ensuring lasting community benefit. A new job training portal will provide community members with streamlined access to solar job training and employment opportunities.

To qualify for DAC-SASH, customers must meet income qualifications and live in the top 25 percent most disadvantaged communities statewide using the CalEnviroScreen. GRID is currently accepting applications to DAC-SASH through its Energy for All Program.

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