Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH)

Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH)


The Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) programme was one of the California Solar Initiative’s (CSI) two low-income solar programmes.

GRID Alternatives (GRID), a non-profit solar contractor, was the statewide Program Administrator for the SASH programme. The SASH incentive was available to qualifying low-income homeowners in the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) service territories.

The SASH was uniquely designed to be a comprehensive low-income solar programme. In addition to providing incentives, SASH was structured to promote or provide energy efficiency, workforce development and green jobs training opportunities, and broad community engagement with low-income communities. There was no other solar programme in California that had such a diverse range of benefits for low-income communities. It was truly a first-of-its-kind solar programme.

The SASH incentive provided low-income families with free or low-cost solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that significantly reduce household energy expenses and allow families to direct those savings toward other basic needs. GRID Alternatives’ volunteer-based installation model proved to be a highly efficient model that makes solar affordable for low-income homeowners while also creating valuable job training opportunities. In addition to being the primary installer for SASH, GRID provided education on and access to energy efficiency programs that further reduce a household’s energy consumption and expenses. In implementing the programme, GRID Alternatives provided opportunities for local volunteers to assist with installations, engage their communities, and to participate in CA energy programs. GRID trained over 44,030 volunteers and job trainees in California to help promote and install solar in low-income communities since the inception of the programme. GRID required its volunteers to participate in a solar orientation programme that educated these potential solar adopters about solar PV and energy efficiency.

Highlights and milestones include a total of 9,264 PV systems installed and interconnected. In total these projects encumbered approximately $132.3 million in incentives and represented almost 30 MW of solar capacity. The SASH referred over 10,250 low-income homeowners to the utilities' Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) programmes.

Eligible applicants must:

  • Receive electrical service from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), or San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E),  
  • Own and live in their home,
  • Have a household income that is 80% or below the area median income (AMI),
  • Live in a home defined as “affordable housing” by California Public Utilities Code 2852.

The SASH offered one incentive level of $3 per watt. The funding of the project reached $108M with D.07-11-045 and the reauthorized SASH program with $54M in additional funding through D.15-01-027. The programme provided direct economic benefits to participating families and added value to the industry with green job training and broad consumer education. Each SASH project contained a workforce development component and provided opportunities for job trainees and volunteers to get hands-on experience installing solar systems.

  • California, USA

  • Geographical scale:
  • Energy poverty phase:
  • Professionals involved:
  • Type of funding:
    Regional funds by California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)- California Solar Initiative
  • SDGs addressed:

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