If you’re a residential customer of Southern California Edison (SCE), you’ve got more than SoCal’s sunny days to be happy about. You’re alsositting on what is arguably the state’s best solar rebate. We’ve discussed this before. But, looking at the numbers this morning, I could help but mention it again.
Here’s the deal. In 2006, the state’s public utilities commission launched the California Solar Initiative (CSI), a multi-year program aimed at providing more than $3 billion inincentives to solar-energy projects through 2016. The program was broken up into ten “steps,” each representing a certain amount solar power (in megawatts, or MW). According to the program structure, as more solar gets installed, the incentive level is reduced. Like this:
In which step are we? That depends on your utility. Residentialcustomers of California’s other investor-owned utilities — Pacific Gas& Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) — are in Step 8, which means they are entitled to receive a solar rebateof $0.35 for each watt of solar panels they install. By comparison,customers of SCE (which is in Step 6) are entitled to a rebate of $1.10per watt — more than three times as much as what’s available to their neighbors in SDG&E and PG&E territory! Check out the following chart, courtesy of Go Solar California:
While installing solar panels can still make great sense with thelower rebate from PG&E and SDG&E, I can’t emphasize enough what a good opportunity SCE’s solar rebate presents to homeowners who arethinking about installing solar panels. Think about it this way: if youinstalled a typical solar home energy system of 5-kW in SDG&E orPG&E territory, you’d be eligible for a solar rebate of roughly$1,750. That same system installed on the home of a SCE customer couldreceive a rebate of $5,500.
Finally, remember that back in the day (2006-07), all these rebateswere $2.50 or more per watt. Solar incentive levels are a moving targetin California — the sooner you get moving on your solar energy project,the better. (This goes for everyone!)
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