Solar Programs

CSD is working with community partners statewide to install rooftop solar photovoltaic systems and solar water heaters on low-income households and buildings in disadvantaged communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy. These programs are provided under CSD's Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP).

Solar has numerous benefits for you and your community.

  • Solar reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Solar reduces energy costs 
  • Solar improves public health
  • Solar helps achieve air quality standards
  • Solar stimulates the economy

Solar for Your Home

CSD works with non-profit community partners to offer solar to qualifying low-income households and property owners. Our solar rooftop partners serve two different types of low-income, residential dwellings:

1. Single-Family Homes 
2. Large Multi-Family Dwellings – Priority for larger apartment properties of 20 units or more 

Do you qualify?

To receive solar services under our program, households must:

  • be located within a disadvantaged community*,  
  • meet income qualifications of 60 percent of the State Median income, or income eligibility requirements under the California Solar Initiative's Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes program (80% Area Median Income), and
  • meet all other program eligibility requirements.

» Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

» Improves Public Health

» Helps Achieve Air Quality Standards

» Reduces Energy Costs and Water Usage

» Stimulates the Economy

* "Disadvantaged Community" is identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) through a tool known as the CalEnviroScreen 2.0. This tool uses geographic, socioeconomic, public health and environmental hazard criteria to identify vulnerable communities disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution.

Are you ready to get started?

If you reside in a single family residence and believe you live in a disadvantaged community, contact the local Solar PV Provider in your county to learn if you may qualify for rooftop solar. To search by county click here.

If you are interested in solar hot water heating for your home, and reside in a single-family or small multi-family residence in a disadvantaged community, contact the local Energy Provider in your county to see if you qualify. To search by county click here.

If you own a large multi-family dwelling in a disadvantaged community, please contact the large multi-family program statewide administrator, the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA), for more information on eligibility and available energy efficiency and solar improvements. Click here for details.

How are the solar programs funded?

CSD-administered solar programs for qualifying low-income Californians are part of California's Climate Investments that reduce greenhouse gases while also delivering economic, environmental, and public health benefits. 

By design, the solar programs leverage state Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds under the Low-Income Weatherization Program, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds,  utility‑funded incentives, and other similar resources to increase the health and safety benefits of weatherization services to low-income families.

California’s 2014-15 State Budget provided $75 million in proceeds from the Cap-and-Trade auctions conducted quarterly by the California Air Resources Board and maintained in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) to CSD for its Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP). CSD was allocated $78 million for LIWP in the 2015-16 State Budget.


Authorized by the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), the cap-and-trade program is one of several strategies that California uses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Funds received from the program are deposited into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and appropriated by the Legislature. They must be used for programs that further reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

In 2012, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 535 (De León) directing that, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a quarter of the proceeds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund must also go to projects that provide a benefit to disadvantaged communities. A minimum of 10 percent of the funds must be for projects located within those communities. The legislation gives the CalEPA responsibility for identifying those communities.

In October 2014, following a series of public workshops to gather public input, CalEPA released its list of disadvantaged communities for the purpose of SB 535. To inform its decision, CalEPA relied on the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool (CalEnviroScreen 2.0), a tool that assesses all census tracts in California to identify the areas disproportionately burdened by and vulnerable to multiple sources of pollution.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds are administered by state and local agencies for a variety of greenhouse-gas cutting programs, including energy efficiency, public transit, low-carbon transportation and affordable housing. Guidelines written by the Air Resources Board help these agencies develop programs that meet statutory requirements for reducing emissions while maximizing the benefits to disadvantaged communities. 


If you have additional questions or would like more information regarding our solar programs, please email us through our Contact Us page.




» Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

» Improves Public Health

» Helps Achieve Air Quality Standards

» Reduces Energy Costs and Water Usage

» Stimulates the Economy