News Release

Renewed Funding for Residential Solar Rebates

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Contractors installing solar panels at house

CCSE successful in efforts to modify San Diego CSI fund allocation         

During the past several months, CCSE successfully petitioned the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to modify the allocation of funds in the local CSI program budget to shift some money in the nonresidential solar project budget to be available for homeowners. The commission gave final approval to the modification on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

When originally conceived in 2006, the San Diego area CSI program allocated two-thirds of its $202 million budget and electricity megawatt goal for nonresidential installations as mandated by the CPUC. The CPUC selected CCSE to run the CSI in San Diego, making it the only nonutility administrator in the statewide program.

In January 2013, CCSE reached enough residential solar projects to meet the entire ten-year goal set for homeowner installations when the CSI program began in 2007, nearly four years ahead of schedule. Removal of the specific allocation ratio will allow distribution of half of the remaining megawatts of electricity in the San Diego Gas & Electric service territory for residential projects.

“Removal of the specific allocation of two-thirds of the program’s 180 megawatts for the nonresidential sector will allow the program to more effectively reach its overall goals and encourage more San Diego homeowners to install rooftop solar,” said CCSE Executive Director Len Hering, RADM, USN (ret.).

Solar PV rebates in San Diego

So far, the CSI program has incentivized some 15,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on residences in the local region, generating more than 75 megawatts of clean, sustainable energy.

The revised allocation of CSI funds will open some $5 million to residential projects for a total of about 25 megawatts. Nonresidential sector will have about $13 million to fund approximately 25 megawatts.

“The return of CSI rebates for residential solar energy systems in the San Diego region, together with the recent passage of Assembly Bill 327, which extends California’s net energy metering program, will help ensure continued growth for the state’s thriving solar market,” Hering said.

Waitlisted projects and new applications

Since halting residential solar rebates earlier this year, CCSE has placed CSI homeowner applications on a wait list with the possibility of getting an incentive as previously reserved projects dropped out of the program. Those projects will now have priority to obtain funding. CCSE expects to begin taking new applications for residential solar rebates the week of October 28.

Statewide, CSI has made significant progress toward its goal of transforming the market for solar energy by reducing the cost of solar generating equipment. Since the program began, residential solar system costs dropped by 45 percent, making solar more accessible to middle- and low-income markets.

You can learn more about CSI rebates, how to contact a reliable solar contractor and more about solar energy by visiting CCSE’s CSI website.

You can read the complete CPUC decision online.

June 9 2015
Center for Sustainable Energy