Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing

Menu

Contractors

The SOMAH program provides substantial incentives for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on multifamily affordable housing, making installation costs more economical for property owners. Participating contractors can bring customers into the SOMAH program, as well as bid on projects that have earmarked SOMAH funding.

As an eligible SOMAH contractor, you benefit from:

  • Incentives that may cover as much as 100% of the total system cost for your customers
  • Access to an online portal to bid on new projects
  • A growing customer base
  • Resources for hiring a skilled workforce through SOMAH’s online job portal

A SOMAH contractor checking a solar panel system installation

Becoming an eligible SOMAH contractor is easy. You must:

  • Have an active A, B, C-10 or C-46 license from the California Contractors State License Board
  • Complete an online SOMAH contractor eligibility workshop
  • Remain in good standing with the SOMAH program

While not required, we recommend solar installation contractors receive certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

Upcoming SOMAH Contractor Workshops

Solar contractors working onsite project

Contractors may apply for SOMAH incentives on behalf of property owners.

Key application steps

  1. Request upfront technical assistance (optional). Track A starts here.
    • -Property owners applying through a contractor will likely forego upfront technical assistance and will move directly to a reservation request.
  2. Request a reservation and submit your deposit (if applicable). Track B starts here.
  3. Demonstrate compliance with energy efficiency requirement.
  4. Demonstrate project progress.
  5. Claim your incentive.

Applications are processed via our online application portal, PowerClerk.

Learn More

Solar contractor working on a SOMAH installation project

At least 51% of the solar energy system's electric output must directly offset tenant load and be provided to tenants in the form of virtual net energy metering (VNEM).

VNEM is a billing arrangement that allows a single solar PV system to offset both multiple common areas and tenant usage, even if they are on different utility meters. Using this method, each utility account is credited with a portion of the electricity generated by the PV system.

View VNEM Toolkit

The SOMAH program provides fixed, upfront, capacity-based incentives for qualifying solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Waitlist and funding status

Current funding for SOMAH is exhausted in SDG&E, PG&E and SCE territories. Applicants are still encouraged to apply and be placed on a waitlist. Applicants will be notified as their project receives funding and removed from the waitlist. For more budget information and current available funding, please visit California Distributed Generation Statistics.

SOMAH incentive rate by tax credit funding and tenant/common area allocation

TAX CREDITS

$ per AC Watt Incentive

ITC

LIHTC

Tenant

Common

No

No

$3.20

$1.10

Yes

No

$2.25

$0.80

No

Yes

$2.25

$0.80

Yes

Yes

$1.60

$0.60

Learn More

Contractors on SOMAH projects are required to hire eligible job trainees for SOMAH installations and meet trainee wage requirements. The number of trainees and required work hours depend on the size of the system installation. The following resources are available to support contractors in meeting the requirement:

  • A job board to post and manage open SOMAH trainee positions
  • A resume bank where contractors can search for eligible trainees
  • A job training organization directory
  • Resources for trainees to support their experience and further professional development

Learn More

Group of solar contractors assessing SOMAH solar panel installation

Looking to find potential projects in your area? Visit the Eligible SOMAH Properties Map to find potential leads.

View Map

The SOMAH program includes requirements for equipment ratings, warranties, performance monitoring and tenant/common area load split. Contractors should review all program requirements in the program handbook before starting the application process.

View Program Handbook

Any member of the public or program stakeholder may report a perceived conflict of interest to the SOMAH Program Administrator.

Learn More