Affordable Housing Gets Affordable Solar

One of the many ways California is encouraging residential solar power adoption in the state – and trying to make sure it doesn’t just happen in affluent communities – is with a program called MASH. No, it has nothing to do with Hawkeye, BJ, Radar and the gang. MASH stands for Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing, and the program provides incentives of up to $4.00 per watt for the installation of solar systems at lower-income housing complexes.

One of the companies aggressively taking advantage of the program is Everyday Energy, which just announced the biggest MASH installation yet in the San Diego area, a 138-kilowatt (kW) capacity system at the Town & Country Apartments. The project was Everyday Energy’s fourth – we told you about another one in last December – adding up to 735 kW of capacity. The company said it was under contract to install 10 more systems under the program, with a total capacity of 1.27 megawatts (MW).

Affordable housing solar installation, San Diego, Everyday Energy

image via Everyday Energy

The most  recent state report on capacity installed through the MASH program came last summer, at which point 1.48 MW had been installed at 23 multi-family affordable housing buildings serving 1,514 tenant units. The state reported at the time that reservations for participation in the program were full, with some 306 projects totaling 20 MW of capacity waiting to go in.

Everyday Energy said the project at the Town & Country Apartments would produce about 200,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The housing complex is owned by the San Diego Community Housing Corporation, and Everyday Energy said the system was installed with no out-of-pocket costs for the owner.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.


  • Reply February 11, 2011

    Suzee Solar

    I am definitely going to explore this new program that will help lower income families obtain the clean and money saving benefits of solar enery. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Reply February 13, 2011

    J Nunke

    Thank you for the reporting on MASH. Providing solar power to all is a necessary for the welfare of our country. I hope more individuals will get involved for solar energy for our planet.

  • This could turn solar from the rich man’s delight to a really practical development tool. Taking away monthly expenses like electricity could have a true long term impact for such families.

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