Council offers solar assistance to rental property owners

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Solar panels on the tops of single-level parking structures.A Metropolitan Council pilot program will offer technical assistance to residential rental property owners who want to install solar panels on their buildings and reduce their energy costs. In exchange, property owners will rent, at market rates, a small share of their units to Section 8 Housing Choice voucher holders for five years.

Rental property owners are encouraged to learn more about the Solar-for-Vouchers Technical Assistance Program at one of two upcoming workshops: Thursday, Oct. 29 or Thursday, Nov. 19. Register for a workshop.

“This innovative program tackles two critical issues at one time: reducing regional carbon emissions through solar energy and expanding the housing opportunities for residents with low incomes,” said Lisa Barajas, director of the Council’s Community Development division. “We encourage rental property owners to investigate how they could save money on energy costs while providing affordable rental opportunities.”

Technical assistance means streamlined process for property owners

Under the new program, the Met Council will facilitate the process of solar panel installation by assembling a committed group of property owners and connecting them with solar developers. With many property owners participating, solar developers can install panels at competitive group prices.

The Met Council selects solar developers through a Request for Qualifications process. Property owners avoid the lengthy process of finding developers, evaluating the quality of their work, and negotiating competitive prices.

Clean Energy Resource Teams is partnering with the Council to offer program participants free technical assistance including the educational workshop, advice about successful site visits, evaluating solar developer proposals and contracts, financial calculators to determine savings, and more.

Properties must be located within Metro HRA service area

Small map showing participating communities in blue. Open the PDF link for a list.To be eligible, properties must be:

In exchange for the technical assistance, property owners are expected to rent, at market rate, a set number of units to low-income households through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program for five years. Program participants are expected to lease to a voucher holder within 12 months after the date of signing a contract with a solar developer.

More information about Solar-for-Vouchers Program and application materials

Posted In: Communities