BQuest is committed to expanding solar access to tenants of multifamily residences so that they can enjoy the same cost savings and sustainability benefits of solar energy that homeowners have easier access to.
Solving for Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing
The SOMAH program helps renters in California spend less on electricity by incentivizing solar installations on affordable multifamily properties. Multifamily property owners can apply for a rebate to install solar on their buildings. Since there is often common space in these buildings, property owners benefit and are motivated to go solar, but their tenants benefit the most from savings on their monthly electricity bills. SOMAH also benefits solar installers because the rebate helps more customers afford the installation.
However, the SOMAH rebate means payment comes after the installation is complete, so property owners must pay for the installation on the front end. Many property owners, especially nonprofits operating affordable residences that serve LMI populations, can’t afford that. In addition, large commercial solar installations can sometimes take a year or more to get through permitting and construction, adding to the challenge for these property owners and their tenants to benefit from solar savings. That’s where BQuest comes in!
We offer bridge loans for no or low interest during the installation process for eligible property owners who have applied and been approved for a SOMAH rebate. Once the installation is complete and the rebate is secured, BQuest is repaid. This means that solar installation projects can get started with no up-front capital from the property owner. We believe this brings solar equity to renters since they are dependent on their landlords to invest in clean, cost-effective, and sustainable energy.
Similar to SOMAH, California’s Low Income Weatherization Program (LIWP) offers rebates for solar installations and other energy efficiency projects that lower utility bills for tenants. LIWP uses cap-and-trade dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, improve public health, and protect our environment.
Again, a challenge with the program is that like SOMAH, property owners must invest in the energy efficiency project upfront and get the rebate after the installation rebate processing is completed. This means many projects can be delayed or never occur because upfront self-financing is unaffordable. BQuest offers no to low interest bridge loans to get solar installations and other weatherization projects going!
Multifamily Solar Projects
Completed SOMAH Projects:
- SBCS Trolley Trestle in Chula Vista, CA
- SBCS Trolley Terrace in Chula Vista, CA
- SBCS Cordova Village in Chula Vista, CA
- MAAC Villa Lakeshore Apartments in Lakeside, CA
Projects in permitting and construction:
- Preservation Equity Fund Mill Creek in San Bernardino, CA
- Preservation Equity Fund Dover Woods in Fairfield, CA