The sun shines on low income customers in Santa Clara
Post Date:05/15/2020 9:00 AM
Silicon Valley Power (SVP) has recently kicked off a new Low Income Solar Grant Program, which provides income-qualified homeowners with a free solar photovoltaic (PV) system. This program is intended to help reduce overall utility costs for those customers who have an ongoing financial need. It also provides 100% renewable energy to their home, which contributes to the City of Santa Clara’s Climate Action Plan goals. The program will also help support the local solar contractors who have had their businesses impacted by the current health crisis.
Through this grant program, the utility will provide up to $10,000 per home to cover the cost of the solar system and permit application fees, with a maximum payment of $3.30 per watt, up to 3 kilowatts (CEC-AC). The program is designed to cover 100% of the cost of the PV system based on average system costs in this area. A 3 kilowatt system can cover 100% of the electricity consumed by the average Santa Clara customer over the course of the year.
All applicants will meet with a SVP solar specialist to learn more about owning a solar system, as well as what changes they can expect on their utility bill under the Net Metering Program. Net Metering includes an annual “true-up” of energy produced versus energy consumed and the monthly bill is handled differently from other electric bills, as payment is only required annually. The Net Metering Program allows customers to “bank” power when they produce more than they consume and use it as a credit in months where they consume more than they produce.
As a part of the program, SVP will also help customers evaluate multiple bids to ensure they meet the program requirements before signing a contract. The grant is paid directly to the contractor or installer so customers do not have to spend any money out of pocket. Under this program, SVP anticipates installing at least 30 solar systems for low income homeowners in Santa Clara this year.