Residential Solar Rebates return to San Diego


The California Public Utilities Commission approves a residential solar rebate extension for customers of San Diego Gas & Electric, resulting in local households being eligible for an additional $5 million in solar rebates.


According to a recent article on the California Center for Sustainable Energy’s website, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has recently approved a residential solar rebate extension for customers of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

CCSE administers the California Solar Initiative (CSI) program for customers of SDG&E, and filed a request with the CPUC for modification of the allocation of funds in the local program. With the modification approval, some money in the nonresidential solar rebates budget will shift to be available for homeowners. CPUC’s approval results in San Diego households being eligible for an additional $5 million in solar rebates that provide about 25MW of new generation capacity. Nonresidential projects will have about $13 million to fund approximately 25 megawatts of capacity.

Len Hering, CCSE Executive Director, commented: “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.”

“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 added.

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 CSI program is running far ahead of its 10-year goal for residential solar. So far, the rebate program has resulted in approximately 15,000 PV systems installed on residences in the local region, generating over 75MW of electricity. Allocations for residential solar rebates in San Diego were exhausted in January this year due to the success of the program, nearly four years ahead of schedule.

Upon exhaustion of the residential rebates, CCSE has placed homeowners applying for CSI rebates on a wait list, and these homeowners will now have priority to obtain funding. The California Center for Sustainable Energy expects to begin taking new applications for residential solar incentives in the week of October 28.

The entire CPUC decision can be viewed here.