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General Information

What is the San Diego Solar Equity Program?

A $10 million, 10-year program to provide rooftop solar to income-qualified homeowners in certain areas of the City of San Diego at low to no cost to them. By installing solar, families can save tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs over the lifespan of their system.

General Information

Is any of the program funding coming from taxpayers or SDG&E ratepayers?

No. Funding comes from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) shareholder funds as part of its Energy Franchise Agreement with the city. Further, the cost of the program will not impact SDG&E ratepayers.

General Information

How was the program developed?

Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), the Program Administrator, consulted with a dozen technical and community-based organizations to develop the program. CSE will continue to engage these organizations to assess the program’s progress and implement changes as needed. 

General Information

How often do program requirements change?

Minor updates to the program will be made annually; periodically, updates will include more comprehensive requirement changes. As the Program Administrator, Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) provides an annual progress report on the program to SDG&E by the end of March. Leading up to this annual report, CSE conducts a group meeting with technical and community-based stakeholders to elicit feedback on program outcomes and gather suggestions for improvements.

General Information

How is funding released and when is it released each year?

Annual funding is released by SDG&E at the start of each calendar year. Unused funds from the previous year will roll over.

General Information

What happens if the annual incentive is fully reserved when I apply?

Applications are reviewed and approved on a first-come, first-served basis. If the full incentive for your income band is reserved at the time of your application, you will be put on a waitlist for project cancellations or for funding the following year.

General Information

Where can I get a copy of the Program Handbook?

Check out the Resources page. Here you will find the Program Handbook, along with other useful documents like the Reservation Request Form, Incentive Claim Form and one-pagers on the program and energy efficiency education.


Who can get solar panels installed through the program?

This program is designed for families facing the highest risks from climate change impacts and historically low access to clean energy. Eligibility criteria include:

  • Owner-occupied single-family homes, duplexes, quadplexes, mobile homes or manufactured homes.
  • Located in one of the City of San Diego’s Communities of Concern as defined by the city’s Climate Equity Index, which includes neighborhoods in Council Districts 4, 7, 8 and 9.
  • With total household income of less than 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI). In 2022, 120% of AMI is $128,280.


How are the incentive funds allocated across income bands?

Most of the funds (60%) are reserved for households with a total income of 80% AMI or less. The remaining 40% of incentive funds are divided evenly between households with total income between 80% and 100% AMI and between 100% and 120% AMI - 20% of funds for each income band.

Application Process

How will applications be screened, and what is the criteria for approval?

Applications to reserve incentive funds will be reviewed and approved on a first-come, first-served basis by the nonprofit Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE). CSE will screen applications to ensure homeowners meet the income and location requirements and verify the proposed system size and requested incentive. Upon installation and confirmation of Permission to Operate from SDG&E, the applicant can claim the incentive.

Application Process

Is my incentive guaranteed after it is reserved?

No. You must meet all program requirements set in the Program Handbook, including submitting correct, complete, and legible documents by the dates requested. Incentive funds are not paid until the Program Administrator receives and approves a signed Incentive Claim Form, proof of Permission to Operate from SDG&E, and other supporting documents.

About the San Diego Solar Equity Program

The San Diego Solar Equity Program (SDSEP) is a 10-year incentive program funded by San Diego Gas & Electric® (SDG&E®) shareholder funds as part of the City of San Diego’s franchise agreement with SDG&E®. The program allocates a total of $10 million, $1 million per year, to assist eligible customers with monetary assistance to install solar panels on their homes.