PG&E and SDG&E Solar Incentives Decrease 40%

by Shawn Roe  |  Published in Solar

Good news for solar, but bad news for future customers: the solar incentives for two of California’s biggest electric utilities have decreased by 40%.

EPBB Residential Solar Rebate StepsThe good news is that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) have received enough California Solar Initiative (CSI) applications to install solar that they have reached the maximum amount for Step 6 in the incentive scale. Current and future applications to install solar for customers of these two utilities will be eligible for the Step 7 incentive rate of $0.65/watt DC.

Pacific Gas and Electric serves most of the residents living in the upper two-thirds of California, while San Diego Gas and Electric supplies electricity to approximately 3 million people living in and around San Diego County. Combined, this represents about half of California’s current electricity customers.

The bad news is that for those customer in these areas who decided to wait to install solar after April 2, 2010 will receive 40% less of a rebate.

For example, a customer who decided to install a 6 kW solar system before April 2 may have received a rebate of about $5,346. However, the next door neighbor who waited until after to install the same 6 kW system will only receive a $3,159 rebate. That’s a difference of more than $2,000 in solar rebate money for waiting only a few days.

The CSI incentives were designed to “step” down over time as more solar systems were installed in a utility’s area. As the cost to install has dropped, so have the incentive rebates from the utilities.

There is still money to be had as there are 215 MW available at Step 7, but if you wait too long, the next step will drop your rebate down to $0.35/watt. To see how much it might cost to install solar, check out the Solar Calculators at SRoeCo Solar.

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