Tag: "sce solar rebate"

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!

 Permalink

03/18/14

  09:10:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 463 words  
Categories: SCE/CSI Rebates, Commercial Solar, Residential Solar, Ranting, Non-profit solar

The (Rebate) Party's Over - SCE Imposes Residential Wait List

SCE logoThe folks running the CSI rebate program over at SCE (alas, dear Bruce, we barely knew ye) announced yesterday the imposition of a wait list for all residential solar rebates. In an email received at 1:53 p.m. on March 17th with the subject line, “CSI Waitlist Notification", we were informed as follows:

Dear CSI Solar Community:

Update on CSI Program Status

The remaining funds in SCE’s California Solar Initiative (CSI) Residential Incentive Program continue to be reserved at a higher than usual pace. Although California Solar Statistics shows just over a million dollars in Remaining Funds, the presence of “Remaining Funds” for a given Program does not mean that all those funds are available as incentives for available projects. Consequently, SCE will be establishing a wait list sooner than anticipated in an effort to ensure there is no oversubscription of the remaining funds. The Waitlist will become effective end of day on Monday March 17, 2014.

All new residential applications received after 7:00pm PST on Monday, March 17, 2014 will be placed onto the Wait List. SCE will continuously monitor the remaining incentive funds and review the highest waitlisted application as funding becomes available. Applications that do not have all required and correct documentation will be suspended and given 14 days to submit the requested information. If the documentation is not submitted correctly within the suspension period, the application will be cancelled and removed from the waitlist. All suspension timelines will be strictly enforced. Additionally, wait list projects may still have an opportunity to receive an incentive if previously reserved projects are cancelled out of the CSI Program. Please note waitlist projects will be reserved in the order received and are not guaranteed an incentive.

SCE has recently requested permission from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to shift some nonresidential incentive funds into the residential incentive budget. If approved by the CPUC, SCE will be able to allocate more megawatts and therefore more incentive dollars for CSI residential projects.

If you have any questions please call the CSI Helpline at (866)584-7436.

Sincerely,

CSI Program Administrator
Southern California Edison

Who waits until mere hours before a deadline to announce the deadline?  Why not simply announce it after the fact and be done with the drama?

So what does this mean?  It means that as of now, residential CSI rebates in SCE territory are no longer guaranteed.  Of course, at 20¢/Watt they were nearly gone for a while now, but this makes it official.  Presumably non-residential rebates are still available, but it sounds like SCE will ask the CPUC for permission to tap that piggy bank and shift some or all of those funds to the residential program.

If you are a commercial, or more significantly, non-profit entity considering going solar, you better act quickly before those moneys disappear as well.

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.

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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