Renters need clean energy too. In San Diego, non EJ communities have more than double the residential solar (40 per 1000 residents) compared to EJ communities (18 per 1000 residents). We attribute this discrepancy to a variety of barriers making solar installation difficult to access and afford for all people.

San Diego is a “solar star,” but not for environmental justice communities. According to a 2018 report by Environment California, San Diego has the second most solar power capacity among the 69 cities surveyed. Unfortunately, installed solar power does not extend to EJ communities.

ED1 cropThe map titled Installed Residential KiloWatts of Solar Power, per 1000 Residents, by Zipcode, City of San Diego, 2017 shows the geography of the number of kilowatts installed per 1,000 residents. The table titled Average Number of Solar Installations per 1000 people includes this metric and the average number of installations broken out by EJ communities, City, and non-EJ communities. Both statistics highlight that residential solar power installation in EJ communities is minimal.

A study done by the California Energy Commission identified barriers and recommendations to bridge the clean energy gap for low-income customers and small business contracting opportunities in disadvantaged communities. The structural barriers identified include low home ownership rates, insufficient access to capital, and aged buildings. The report by the California Energy Commission is an excellent guide to inform the implementation of the San Diego CAP.

• Contact Caro This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 619-474-0220 ext 131


Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH)

In 2015, the California Environmental Justice Alliance together with the Center for Sustainable Energy, GRID Alternatives, and the Association for Energy Affordability, with the support of EJ allies like Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) secured passage of California Assembly Bill 693. This legislation created Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program, which provides up to $1 billion to install solar in disadvantaged communities across the state. SOMAH is the largest investment in solar in the country, and the majority of bill savings and benefits will go to tenants while providing paid solar job training opportunities.


EHC will support SOMAH’s implementation through targeted outreach and engagement activities aimed at ensuring our EJ communities gain access to the full benefits of solar, including access to renewable energy, reduced utility bills, job training opportunities and economic development.

Are you a renter living in affordable housing? Do you want to help bring clean energy and jobs to your community? Here’s how you can learn more and get involved:

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (619) 474-0220 x 101
  • Attend an upcoming workshop in Barrio Logan, City Heights, or National City
  • Visit the SOMAH website