Multifamily Shared Solar Pilot Program

Multi-Tenant Affordable Housing

Foundation Community Homestead Oaks

Austin Energy is developing an innovative metering and billing shared solar solution for hard-to-reach solar markets that include multifamily affordable housing, low-income residents, renters, and non-profits. The Shared Solar Pilot Program is exploring our ability to enable more cost-effective solar installations on multi-tenant properties for our low-to-moderate-income customers.

How Shared Solar Works: One Solar PV System to Serve Multiple Units

In most common solar installations, an on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) system must be electrically connected behind the meter so that customers can receive the solar power and the associated Value of Solar (VoS) credits on their bill.

In individually-metered multifamily properties, solar can be complex and costly to install, meter, and wire behind each unit’s individual electric meter. The Shared Solar program aims to alleviate the problems of cost and complexity by allowing a single on-site solar PV system to serve multiple units in a building.

To do this, Austin Energy will use the utility’s Meter Data Management System to enable virtual, proportional metering of a single PV meter. With this technology, multiple residential electric accounts in a multifamily property will be able to receive a prorated portion of Value of Solar credits from an on-site solar PV system.

All Value of Solar credits from the PV system’s production will be allocated to the residential units in the property — in proportion to the unit’s square footage — and will lower the tenants’ electric bills.

Shared Solar Pilot Program Update

Projects were selected for participation in the pilot program and systems have been installed. Austin Energy is in the process of vetting the functionality of the virtual, proportional metering solution within the billing system. Once sufficiently proven, Austin Energy plans to open the Shared Solar program for general participation.

Austin Energy is no longer accepting applications for new participants.

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Last Updated: 10/1/18

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