Updates support expanded use of solar program benefits for assisted housing residents as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published today updated guidance for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and owners of properties participating in HUD Multifamily Assisted Housing programs regarding the treatment of financial benefits received from participation in community solar energy programs or the presence of on-site solar facilities. HUD updated this guidance to make it easier for program participants to understand and implement policies governing participation in solar programs so that residents can benefit from the expansion of these clean energy programs as a result of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda through the historic Inflation Reduction Act. The new guidance consolidates multiple previously issued policy documents, along with current guidance for HUD programs supporting solar, including:
- New Community Solar Credits in Master Meter Buildings Guidance for Public Housing Authorities, which augments existing PIH guidance in PIH Notice-2022-34-Rate Reduction Incentive Guidance, Treatment of Community Solar Credits on Tenant Utility Bills; PIH Notice 2022-32-Small Rural Frozen Rolling Base Guidance; PIH Notice 2011-3-Energy Performance Contract Guidance; and
- New Housing Notice 2023-09 for Multifamily Assisted Housing property owners.
“At a time when people are struggling to make ends meet, all while dealing with the existential threat of climate change, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is making solar programs a reality for low-income and working families that need it most,” said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. “This updated guidance is reinforcing that all communities deserve to participate in America’s growing clean energy economy. Under this guidance, HUD will help more communities build a healthier and cleaner future for all.”
Specifically, the updated guidance covers programs through which residents benefit from electricity generated by solar panels at either an off-site array or on-site solar facility. The new documents issued today contain policies administered by HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing and Office of Multifamily Housing Programs that remain largely unchanged from previously issued policy, with updates for clarity and consistency. The updated guidance also includes some expansions, such as:
- Guidance for Public Housing Authorities in using community solar credits for buildings with master metered utility accounts.
- Explicitly stating for properties participating in HUD Multifamily Assisted Housing programs that the guidance applies to properties with rooftop/on-site solar facilities.
Today’s publications reinforce HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to improving the quality and resilience of HUD-assisted housing, combating the climate crisis, and supporting equitable economic development and environmental justice. Among its many actions, HUD recently:
- Updated Public Housing guidance on power purchase agreements for use with its Rate Reduction Incentive program.
- Published Public Housing guidance for solar credits.
On May 11, 2023, HUD announced the availability of new funding through the Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the energy and water efficiency and climate resilience of HUD-assisted multifamily properties serving low-income residents. HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge made this announcement in Center Line, Michigan alongside Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation John Podesta.
The Inflation Reduction Act provided HUD with $837.5 million in grant and loan subsidy funding and $4 billion in loan commitment authority for this new program. The law also includes $42.5 million for a new HUD initiative launching in the future to collect and assess energy and water usage data from HUD-assisted multifamily housing properties to better target opportunities to save energy and water, cut costs, and reduce emissions. This announcement is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to rebuild the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.