October 2022 Policy Blog

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Kristen Cheriegate  |  ICAST Policy Analyst

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Department of Housing and Urban Development Releases New Guidelines for Community Solar Participants
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued new guidance to HUD Multifamily Housing field staff, owners, and management agents on the treatment of on-bill virtual net energy metering credits commonly resulting from a resident’s participation in a community solar program. Holding key similarities to D.C. Solar for All, the guidance allows for more widespread participation in community solar across the affordable sector. Consequently, it enables more low- and moderate-income households to share in the economic benefit of solar energy generation while participating in the economy-wide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

New Policy Brief Regarding the Inflation Reduction Act
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a policy brief summarizing programs within the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that could provide significant resources for energy efficiency retrofits for existing single-family and multifamily homes. The brief also offers three tables explaining rebate potentials, tax deductions, and eligibility.

Xcel Energy Reaches Settlement Agreement
This month, Xcel Energy reached a proposed settlement agreement regarding its 2022-2025 Renewable Energy (RE) Plan – its four-year roadmap to expand renewable energy in Colorado. The settlement earmarks:

  • $6.5 million for energy storage (supporting approximately 10 MW total of battery storage) over the four years of the RE Plan;
  • $1.6 million for a new program specifically dedicated to providing larger incentives to low-income and historically disadvantaged communities;
  • Up to $52.6 million for community solar projects;
  • $250,000 annually for workforce training and development; and
  • $4.75 million of flexible budget for community engagement and outreach and programs.

Department of Housing and Urban Development Issues Request for Information for Multifamily Assisted Housing Properties
HUD recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) to receive public opinions regarding its Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP). HUD is seeking input on GRRP program design features, energy-saving measures, low-emission technology, and resilience design measures that have proven effective in affordable multifamily buildings. It also seeks input on the ways in which it can best implement and incentivize benchmarking of energy and water consumption of assisted multifamily properties.

California Renters Granted Greater Access to Community Solar
Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 2316 into law. The bill creates a community renewable energy program that pairs community solar with storage to help the state overcome clean energy access barriers impacting nearly half of Californians while strengthening the power grid. The provisions of the bill include:

  • Gives renters, nearly half of Californians, access to clean energy and lower electricity bills;
  • Builds the reliability of California’s power grid through linking storage with community solar;
  • Ensures at least 51% of subscribers are low-income customers, triggering at least a 40% federal tax credit on solar panels under the IRA; 
  • Requires prevailing wages for workers, triggering a 30% federal tax credit for storage installations under the IRA; and
  • Avoids cost transfers to non-participants and maximizes the state’s ability to access federal funds under the IRA.

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