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California SGIP Provides Rebates for Solar Batteries

If you live in California and are only using your solar battery for backup, then you’ve been using it wrong.

A subsidy program to encourage home energy storage has already paid millions to solar battery owners since last May in exchange for reducing the total demand on the state’s four largest utility companies.

Named the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), the program is calibrated towards offsetting the costs of purchasing solar battery storage units such as the Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem ESS.

“The purpose of the SGIP is to contribute to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions, demand reductions and reduced customer electricity purchases, resulting in the electric system reliability through improved transmission and distribution system utilization,” the program’s website states.

In some instances the SGIP rebate covered up to 30-40% of the total battery system cost.

Considered a win-win for both utility companies and people using residential solar, the SGIP has several more rounds of reimbursements to go before funds are exhausted.

By offering homeowners generous per W/h incentives to purchase an energy storage unit, California’s four largest utility companies participating in the program hope to reduce energy demand by using customer’s homes a decentralized way to store power.

The four utility companies participating in the SGIC — Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), Southern California Edison (SCE), SoCal Gas (SCG), and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) all offer five steps of reimbursements, which each step closing as the allocated funds run out.

Currently PG&E, SCE, an SCG are nearing the end of Step 2, which pays small residential storage units $0.40/Wh.  

CSE has been burning through its reimbursement funds at a faster pace and is waiting to announce the dates for its final Step 5. Because CSE did not get as much as the other utility companies they run a lottery for the rebate, which tends to get filled in 1 to 5 days.

The four utility companies offer rebates based on reservation time. Each additional step up in the program reduces the per Wh subsidy by $0.05.

While applying for a rebate can be a challenge, home solar companies such as GoGreenSolar offer assistance to customers looking to maximize the economic potential of their home units.

Company reps will require a copy of the fully executed home solar contract with the make and model of battery, contract price, 10 year limited warranty, recent electric bill, and an application fee which is approximately 5% of the rebate amount.  

Ready to start putting your battery to better use? GoGreenSolar can help!

Author: Harold Tan

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