15 Jul 2020
By Aric Saunders
If you’re a California homeowner interested in energy storage, chances are you’ve heard of the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The SGIP rebate is a state incentive for homeowners looking to install a home battery system, either with or without solar. To help strengthen its ongoing efforts in wildfire resiliency, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved an extension of SGIP, which includes a new budget and modified incentive programs totaling over $1.2 billion for those in the fire-zones of California.
SGIP offsets most, or in some cases all of the cost of energy storage projects in high fire threat areas that are sited at disadvantaged and low-income residences, as well as for medically vulnerable customers. This rebate allows these populations to utilize energy storage, and gain a reliable source of power when electricity is shut off during planned and unplanned outages.
Here’s how to qualify:
- Equity Budget – Incentive Amount: $850/kWh – Low-Income Zones
- Low-income or customers in a disadvantaged community, Qualified Census Tract, Empowerment Zone, or Enterprise Community.
- Customer was previously designated eligible for CSI’s Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program.
- Equity Resiliency Budget – Incentive Amount: $1000/kWh – High-Risk Fire Zones
- Residential customers in a Tier 2 or 3 high-risk fire zone or two or more PSPS events AND
- Meet Equity Budget requirements;
- All medical baseline customers in these areas, or
- Customers that rely on electric pump wells.
- Small Residential General Market – Incentive Amount: Step 6 – $200/kWh, Step 7 – $150/kWh – Qualified Census Tracts
- All homeowners who are serviced by PG&E, SCE, or SDG&E electrical or gas service.
Some additional provisions include:
- More than $1 billion to fund the SGIP for the next critical fire season and subsequent years (2020-2024).
- A higher chance of more money granted for customers with medical needs and impacted communities during PSPS events.
- Targeting Tier 2 and Tier 3 high fire threat districts (where there is “extreme” and “elevated” risk of fire) and disadvantaged and low income customers, medically vulnerable households, critical services facilities, and low income solar program customers. CPUC’s decision also extends eligibility to customers affected by at least two prior PSPS events.
- Eligibility for customers who were affected by the last two PSPS events.
- Eligibility for customers relying on wells with electric pumps.
- For those residents who do not meet the requirements above, the SGIP can still cover a percentage of the costs. For example, if you have a smart home battery backup system, SGIP states that you’re eligible for an incentive rate of $250/kWh incentive ($2,625 in total).
The savings don’t stop there. If you are planning to marry your energy storage system with a solar PV array, you can capitalize on a 26 percent federal investment tax credit (ITC). The SGIP gives all Californians the opportunity to conserve the environment while also conserving some of their hard-earned money.
Aric Saunders is the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Electriq Power, a Northern California-based supplier of a lithium-ion smart home energy storage solution.
Electriq Power | electriqpower.com