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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.

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.

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. 

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 within 1 month of the conclusion of a program year. 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.

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.

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.
  • With total household income of less than 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI). In 2023, 120% of AMI for a family of four is $140,150.
  • Eligibility during Phase 1 have additional geographic location requirements. Refer to the Eligibility Table on the "Who's Eligible?" page for more details and specific eligibility requirements by phase.
What happens if I apply in an eligibility phase I do not qualify for?

If you do not qualify for the program in the phase for which you apply, your application will be cancelled. You will have to work with the Solar Contractor of your choice to apply again in the phase for which you do qualify.

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.

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.