Category: "BWP Rebates"

09/30/18

  07:45:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 896 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, SCE/CSI Rebates, BWP Rebates, GWP Rebates, LADWP Rebates, Electric Cars that Run on Sun

EV Rebates - not just for PWP Customers!

Last month we wrote about a rebate program being offered by Pasadena Water & Power for both the purchase of an Electric Vehicle (new or used) as well as the installation of EV chargers.  Which got us to thinking, don’t the other local utilities have something similar?  Well guess what, they do!  Read on to see what might be available from a utility near you!

EVs being charged

Southern California Edison (SCE)

SCE offers rebates for both purchasing an EV as well as installing a level 2 (i.e., 240 VAC) charger.

EV Rebate

The SCE rebate for purchasing an EV is $450.  Here are the requirements:

  • You must be an SCE residential customer (vehicles registered to businesses are not eligible).
  • The EV must be among the vehicles listed on the Drive Clean website (which lists 35 models of EVs from 2018 alone!).
  • The vehicle’s registration address must be the same as the customer’s address with SCE, but the name on the service account need not be the same as that of the vehicle owner.
  • The vehicle’s registration is current with the State of California.
  • The vehicle has not received more than two rebates in the past.
  • If you have multiple EVs, each vehicle is subject to a rebate if the above qualifications are satisfied.

To apply for the SCE EV rebate, go here.

Charger Rebate

SCE also offers a rebate of $500 to install a Level 2 charger at your home.  Here are the requirements:

  • You must enroll in one of the available Time-of-Use (TOU) rates.  BE CAREFUL!  Depending on your usage patterns this might be a very expensive option!  Run on Sun can, for a nominal fee, assess your present usage and let you know what your annual bill would do under each of the available TOU rate options.  Please contact us if you are interested in our providing you with this service.
  • You need to pull a permit for the installation, and have the work performed by a C-10 electrician (B contractors are not allowed to participate in this rebate program).
  • You need to provide a copy of the signed-off permit after inspection and a copy of your permit receipt (be sure the electrician provides you with these documents).

To apply for the SCE EV charger rebate, go here.

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP)

LADWP does not appear to offer a rebate for the purchase of a new EV, but they do offer a rebate for purchasing a used EV, as well as installing an EV charger.  Their overall EV page is here.

Used EV Rebate

LADWP is offering a pilot program for the first 2,000 approved applicants who purchase an EV two or more years old (i.e., model year 2016 or older).  The rebate is $450 and opened on April 1, 2018. 

Here are the requirements:

  • EV must be two years old or older, and never received an LADWP rebate for its purchase previously.
  • EV must have been purchased after April 1, 2018.
  • Permanent residence must be served by LADWP
  • Complete the rebate application - download it here.
  • Copy of DMV registration
  • Copy of bill of sale
  • Proof of residence

EV Charger Rebate

LADWP offers a $500 rebate for installing a Level 2 EV charger (i.e., 240 VAC).  Program requirements are:

  • Completed rebate application - download it here.
  • Proof of EV charger purchase - paid invoice that includes
    • Purchase date
    • Retailer name, address and phone
    • EV charger make and model
    • How paid for - check, credit card, etc.
  • DMV registration that shows EV registered at account address
  • Photos of completed installation, nameplate of charger (showing serial number, make and model number)

Interestingly, LADWP does not specifically require the installation to be permitted and inspected.

Burbank Water & Power (BWP)

BWP offers a rebate of $500 for residential EV charger installations.  (You can access the rebate application here.)  They do not appear to offer a rebate for purchasing EVs.

Program requirements for the EV charger rebate are:

  • Applicant must be a BWP customer or charge their EV at a location served by BWP.
  • Agree to be switched to a Time-of-Use rate in return for the EV charger rebate.  CAUTION: this could be an expensive switch.  Be sure to consider how and when you use energy before agreeing to switch.
  • Application must be submitted within four months of purchase.
  • Installation must be hardwired (i.e., not plug-in) Level 2, and permitted and inspected by the City.
  • Supporting documentation including:
    • Copy of charger purchase receipt/invoice
    • Copy of installation receipt
    • Copy of signed-off permit
    • Copy of DMV registration
    • Photo of installed charger

Glendale Water & Power (GWP)

As is often the case, GWP’s programs mirror those of BWP.   GWP offers a $500 rebate for residential EV charger installations, but nothing toward the purchase of the EV itself.  Here’s a link to their overall EV page.  One interesting wrinkle, GWP issues the rebate in the form of a credit on your GWP bill - none of the other rebate programs said that.

Here are the requirements for the EV charger rebate:

  • Applicant must be an active GWP account holder.
  • Charger must be a new, Level 2 (i.e., 240 VAC) charger, and the application must be submitted within four months of purchase..
  • Installation must be permitted and inspected by the City if the charger is hard-wired.
  • Supporting documentation includes:
    • Copy of charger receipt/invoice
    • Photo of installed charger
    • Copy of labor receipt (optional)
    • Copy of the signed-off permit (if required)
    • Copy of DMV registration and car purchase or lease agreement

Access the GWP EV charger rebate application form here.

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01/12/16

Who is Paying You to Go Solar in 2016?

Show me the money!The new year is well underway (Happy New Year!), and so it is timely to revisit the question of financial incentives to Go Solar in the Run on Sun service area.  (You can read more detail about all of these incentives on our Solar Financing page.)

Federal Tax Credit

Beyond a doubt, the most significant incentive for going solar is the 30% federal tax credit.  Previously set to expire at the end of this year, the federal solar tax credit was extended late last year, continuing at the present 30% through 2019

The credit applies to solar installations in every utility’s territory, so no matter where you live in the U.S., this credit applies to you.  (NB: this is a tax credit, not an income deduction, so you need the tax “appetite” to take full advantage of this incentive - check with your tax advisor.)  For residential clients, the basis for the credit is the full cost of your solar project, less any rebate that you might receive from the utility.  Commercial clients, who must declare any rebate as income, do not need to deduct their rebate from the system cost when calculating the basis.

Utility Rebates

Once common everywhere, utility rebates are going the way of the dodo—with one or two notable exceptions.  We have rank ordered the local utilities below, based on the reliability of their rebate program.

Pasadena Water & Power

The big winner, again and by far, is the solar rebate program operated by our own Pasadena Water and Power.  Year in and year out, PWP offers rebates to its customers in a transparent and consistent manner - something that cannot be said of any of its neighboring utilities.

As of this writing, PWP is offering a rebate of $0.45/Watt for both residential and commercial customers, and a rebate of $0.90/Watt to non-profit customers (who cannot take advantage of the federal tax credit).  Alternatively, PWP also offers a performance-based incentive that is paid out over two years based on the actual production of the system.  Residential and commercial customers are paid 14.4¢/kWh, whereas non-profit customers are paid 28.8¢/kWh.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

LADWP offers a rebate, if you have the stamina to receive it. Vexed with the most bureaucratic process to be found this side of Orwell’s 1984 dystopia, applying for and receiving a rebate from DWP often feels like a reward for a life well spent.

That said, LADWP is currently offering rebates of $0.30/Watt to residential customers, $0.40/Watt to commercial, and $1.15/Watt to non-profits.  Just don’t hold your breath.

Burbank Water & Power and Glendale Water & Power

These two municipal utilities often feel like one and the same given their similar approach to rebates - which is to say, now you see ‘em, no you don’t.

Unlike their neighbor to the east, neither BWP nor GWP is able to maintain a rebate program throughout the year.  Instead, both open their rebate windows on or about July 1st (i.e., the start of their fiscal year) and then hand out money until it is gone, at which time the window slams shut until the following July 1.

Burbank’s program operates under a lottery, which last year opened on July 1 and was exhausted by August 15.  In addition, BWP imposes restrictions on the azimuth and pitch of rebated systems, despite their being no technical justification for doing so.

Glendale’s program is even less transparent, and the installation/rebate process is outlined in a 23-step ode to inefficiency.

We will revisit both of these program in mid-June to provide what guidance we can to the residents of these two cities.

Azusa Light & Water

The “Solar Partnership Program” in Azusa is fully subscribed.  There is a wait list that solar-hopeful customers can get on in the hope that at some point there will be rebate funds available - with no guarantees that there ever will be.

Anaheim

The Anaheim Solar Incentive Program was fully subscribed as of October 1, 2015 and is now closed, with no published plans to revise the program in the future.

Southern California Edison

SCE’s rebates, which were part of the larger, California Solar Initiative, have expired and no new funds are anticipated.  Of course, SCE customers still have the highest electricity rates around, which provides its own—albeit perverse—incentive to Go Solar!

01/15/15

  08:32:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 722 words  
Categories: Solar Rebates, PWP Rebates, SCE/CSI Rebates, BWP Rebates, GWP Rebates, LADWP Rebates

2015 Solar Rebate Update

Solar rebates are rapidly becoming an endangered species, but there are still a handful of refuges out there for the lucky few who reside in those areas. Here is our update on who is offering what as of January, 2015.

Solar rebates

Although there are lots of ways to approach this, we figured that the most entertaining would be to rank-order each utility in the Run on Sun service area from best to worst in terms of their rebate program (and we will toss in a handy summary chart at the end).

Pasadena Water & Power (PWP)

Beyond a doubt, the best run solar rebate program in our service area is provided by our hometown utility, Pasadena Water & Power.  The folks at PWP have figured out how to provide generous rebates on a predictable schedule while keeping bureaucratic annoyances to a minimum.  Boy could its neighbors learn a thing or two from PWP!

Here are their numbers as of today:

Residential: $0.85/Watt EPBB; 12.9¢/kWh PBI.
Commercial: $0.85/Watt EPBB; 12.9¢/kWh PBI.
Non-Profit: $1.60/Watt EPBB; 24.2¢/kWh PBI.

Keep in mind, those numbers have been in place for a long time (since 2012!) and we expect them to drop some time this year.

Anaheim

Anaheim is offering some big rebate numbers, but they offer a ridiculously small window of opportunity for snagging them.  Specifically, the window is about to open and you need to submit a rebate application between today, January 15, 2015 and two weeks from today as the window closes on January 29!  After that you are out-of-luck until the next window is set.  For those who can jump on the opportunity, here are the numbers:

Residential: $1.25/Watt EPBB; n/a PBI.
Commercial: $1.10/Watt EPBB; 11.0¢/kWh PBI.
Non-Profit: n/a.

Which brings us to the problem children…

Azusa

Azusa has a rebate program, maybe.  But what it really has as of now is a waiting list.  Good luck with that.

Burbank Water & Power (BWP) and Glendale Water & Power (GWP)

Burbank and Glendale feel like the same city so its not surprising that their local utilities seem to act in lock step.  Both utilities arguably offer rebates, but unlike PWP - their more intelligent neighbor to the East - neither BWP nor GWP can figure out how to keep a rebate program open for more than a few weeks (days?) at a time.  They say they are victims of their own success, but we see it as a sign of bad planning.  (Oh, and don’t get us started about GWP’s alleged Feed-in Tariff program which after a year and a half is yet to have a single application submitted! Genius!)

As for now, all the unfortunate residents of these two communities can do is wait until the new fiscal year in July and hope that some funds will be allocated.

Southern California Edison (SCE)

In SCE territory the party is officially over - there are no more rebate funds available, and despite the Governor’s call for 50% of electricity to come from renewables by 2030, there are no moves a foot to refund the CSI program.  This is unfortunate beyond the lack of funding - with the demise of the CSI rebates, so goes the CSI data since that was only gathered as part of the rebate process.  As a result, we lose a major solar incentive along with a major source of market data for the largest solar market in the country!  More genius!  (Here’s a thought - since SCE still requires us to go through the interconnection agreement process - via email - why not collect the data that way?)

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP)

LADWP offers a rebate, but they have the most excruciating process ever for getting it.  (Think of that wealthy Uncle who could easily help you out, but is going to make you bow and scrape before he cuts loose with some ducats, and you get the picture.)  Moreover, non-residential rebates are going away in favor of the Feed-in Tariff program, but for small commercial or non-profit customers, that option simply doesn’t pencil out. 

For those residential customers with the patience to outlast the bureaucrats, here’s their rebate:

Residential: $0.40/Watt EPBB; n/a PBI.

Frankly, that’s just not worth the trouble.

In Summary

So here’s the overall results for all of these utilities:

Solar rebate rates in Run on Sun service area, January 2015

While rebates are going away, the 30% federal tax credit is still in place, and will continue through the end of 2016. Carpe diem!

07/30/14

  07:24:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 815 words  
Categories: BWP Rebates, BWP, Commercial Solar, Residential Solar, Ranting

Burbank's Rebate Raffle - Wild, Weird West - UPDATED!

UPDATE - We heard back from BWP - details at the end of the post…


The wizards at Burbank Water and Power have announced their solar rebate program will resume, but only for the lucky few who happen to be facing West.  Here’s our take.

Having a stable, predictable solar rebate program is the key to making a solar program successful. Municipal utilities like Pasadena Water & Power, and investor-owned utilities (like SCE) participating in the California Solar Initiative, have had great success with their programs. 

Then there are other munis, like Burbank Water & Power (BWP), that just can’t seem to get it right.  BWP, like its similarly misguided neighbor, Glendale Water & Power, has had an on-again, off-again rebate program that baffles all who attempt to make use of it.  Now, for a brief moment, BWP’s solar rebate program is on-again, sort of.  During the month of August, potential Burbank solar customers are allowed to submit rebate applications (submission deadline is August 29 at 5:00 p.m.) for a lottery to be held on September 8th.  The lucky 60 residential and 15 small commercial (<30 kW) customers who make the grade (no details on how the auction will actually be conducted have been released) will be advised of their good fortune by September 12th.  Rebate amounts are $0.96/CEC AC Watt for residential and $0.73 for small commercial.

But wait, there’s more.

Available rebate azimuth rangeFor the first time in our experience, a utility is limiting rebates for solar systems to only those which face in a generally westerly direction.  In fact, systems facing true south are completely ineligible for rebates (as shown in the  image to the left), even though such systems are the most productive! 

BWP is essentially precluding the overwhelming majority of building owners from even having a chance at a rebate in their lottery system.

This continues a trend we have seen with other muni utilities (GWP we are talking about you) where solar programs are designed to be unsuccessful.  It will be interesting to see if we can extract any data from BWP about the results of their lottery.

Justification for west-facing

BWP’s Stated Rationale for Restricting System Azimuth

But why the restriction in the first place?

According to BWP, it is to insure that the power produced comes closest to overlapping with BWP’s peak afternoon demand from 4-7 p.m.  Thus to qualify, systems have to be oriented between 200 and 270 degrees and have a minimum tilt of 5 degrees.

That seemed pretty arbitrary to us. 

While we could understand a utility wanting to limit providing rate payer money to systems that yield the maximum benefit to those rate payers, there is certainly nothing magical about a limit of 200-270 degrees.  In fact, somewhere around 270 should be the sweet spot for afternoon production, with a fall-off on either side.  So why cutoff systems beyond 270 degrees?

We decided to run some models using NREL’s PVWATTS tool.  We assumed a 10 kW system at a 10 degree pitch (a common residential roof pitch) and accepted the other defaults for the model.  We then calculated the hour-by-hour output for systems with azimuths ranging from 200 to 330 degrees.  Here are the results for the critical hours from 4 to 7 p.m.

Energy production vs azimuth

All of the azimuth angles in the green box are acceptable to BWP, whereas all of the azimuth values in the red box are deemed unacceptable for a rebate from BWP.

But here’s the thing… see that green horizontal line?  That represents the 4-7 p.m. output for our hypothetical array with an approved azimuth of 200 degrees.  Yet five out of six azimuth values modeled here that are rejected by BWP, actually produce more power during the critical period than does our approved system at 200 degrees!

So what exactly is going on here?  BWP’s asserted rationale does not hold up to scrutiny.  Which begs the question, why, really, is BWP so seriously limiting who can participate in their lottery?  It certainly is not justified by their desire to maximize 4-7 p.m. production.  If that were truly the case, they should include azimuth angles all the way to 320 degrees.  They would get more timely power production while opening their rebate lottery to many more potential customers.

How about it, BWP, what is going on here? 

If you are a potential BWP customer who falls outside of the “accepted” azimuth band, you might want to contact the Solar Support program managers:

John Joyce: jjoyce@burbankca.gov or

Alfred Antoun: aantoun@burbankca.gov

If you get a response, please add it to the comments.


UPDATE - We heard back from John Joyce, Solar Support Program Manager at BWP, about the outcome of the lottery process.  According to Mr. Joyce:

105 lottery entries have been submitted and the budget is sufficient to allow each of these applicants to participate, therefore no lottery will be held.

We have a further inquiry in to Mr. Joyce to see if there is still budget left over to allow more applications going forward.  We will update this again if we hear back.

02/25/14

  05:38:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 224 words  
Categories: Solar Rebates, PWP Rebates, SCE/CSI Rebates, BWP Rebates, GWP Rebates, LADWP Rebates

Solar Rebate Update

Solar rebates are fleeting in many locations—now you see them, now you don’t. Case in point, Burbank Water and Power (as is the case with its cousin in Glendale) is notorious for offering, and then taking away solar rebates.  We monitor BWP’s website for new developments, and we have now learned that they will be holding a lottery for possible rebate funds next July.  No additional details were made available; presumably they will be posted sometime in June.

Given that development, we decided to update our overall rebate status.  Here is how things stand generally in the Run on Sun service area as of this date:

UtilityEPBB ($/Watt)PBI (¢/kWh)
(Click to see website)ResidentialCommercialNon-ProfitResidentialCommercialNon-Profit
Anaheim Unavailable until June, 2014 Unavailable until June, 2014
Azusa Wait List Wait List
Burbank (BWP) Lottery in July, 2014 Lottery in July, 2014 (30 kW or less)
Glendale (GWP) Unavailable until 7/1/2014 Unavailable until 7/1/2014
Los Angeles (LADWP) $0.40 $0.70 $1.45 Not used
Pasadena (PWP) $0.85 $0.85 $1.60 12.9¢ 12.9¢ 24.2¢
SoCal Edison (SCE) $0.20 $0.25 $0.90 2.5¢ 3.2¢ 11.4¢

Here are a couple of very important qualifications to what appears in that table:

  • LADWP still has $5.9M for non-residential solar rebates.  Once those funds are gone, the Feed-in Tariff will be the only game in town for commercial solar in LA.
  • SCE appears to be down to the final $3M in residential rebate funds, with roughly another $78M in non-residential funds still available.

This is a moving target; watch this space.

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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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