CALIFORNIA SOLAR REBATES
California's incentives program is now known as the CSI (California Solar Initiative) and administered by the utilities, such as PG&E.
Solar Electric Systems under 100 kW
Program: EPBB - Expected Performance Based Buydown
This option applies to all residential and small commercial installations. We call it the “rebate”, because it works like one. The rebate is a cash payment provided by the state after the solar electric system installation is completed. Typically, the rebate is payable to the solar installation company, so your cost of the solar electric system is the after-rebate amount.
The amount of the rebate is based on the size of the solar electric system and some site-specific factors (tilt and orientation of the solar panels, local climate, shading). The current rebate level is $0.35/watt for residential systems and small commercial in PGE territory. The rebate level is expected to be lower as more people install solar this year. There are also special rates for government and nonprofit organizations.
Solar Electric Systems over 100 kW
Program: PBI - Performance Based Incentive
With this option, the utility will pay you for the electricity you generate, each month, for 5 years. Information about your kWh generation is relayed to PG&E via the internet. The PBI payment amount started at $0.39/kWh for commercial customers. Due to consumer demand, the current amount is lower, at $0.09/kwh. Customers with any system size may choose PBI.
For additional information about the CSI click here
Federal Tax Credits
There are federal tax credits for residential and business solar electric systems at the rate of 30% of the net cost of the system, as of January 1, 2009. The tax credits expire Dec. 31, 2016.