Overcoming Barriers to Solar+Storage in Affordable Housing: A Survey of Multifamily Affordable Housing Developers

Abbe Ramanan, Marriele Mango, Seth Mullendore | Clean Energy States Alliance & Clean Energy Group

Low-income affordable housing residents could benefit greatly from the cost savings and energy resilience of solar combined with energy storage. However, this sector faces numerous barriers to solar+storage deployment, and market penetration remains low.

As part of CESA’s Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities project, Clean Energy Group conducted a survey of affordable housing owners and developers, technical services providers, and other stakeholders to assess existing market barriers. This report summarizes the results of this survey and suggests actions to bring the benefits of solar+storage to the people who need it most.

Based on the results of the survey, report authors make four key recommendations:

1) Increase awareness of battery storage: Lack of knowledge on key battery storage incentives and benefits was the number one barrier for respondents.

2) Provide technical assistance support: Without access to technical expertise, solar+storage projects can disintegrate at the first obstacle.

3) Develop innovative financing options: For affordable housing developers with already narrow margins, tailored financial incentives can provide much needed relief.

4) Establish targeted supportive programs and incentives: All survey respondents cited the importance of state and federal incentives and programs in proving the feasibility of projects.

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Date: January 13, 2021
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