How Does San Diego’s Solar Rebate Work?
Earlier this week, we announced that San Diego’s highly successful solar rebate program is making a comeback – thanks to a $5 million extension.That’s great news for prospective solar customers throughout San Diego County.But as soon as we published the piece, we began receiving questions about how the solar rebate program actually works.Let’s review.

San Diego’s Solar Rebate in a Nutshell

When you finally decide to install solar panels on your home or commercial property, you can apply to the California Solar Initiative (CSI) for inclusion in the rebate program (FYI, at Sunline Energy, we handle the application on your behalf).The incentive has 2 basic tiers:Tier 1: the Expected Performance-Based Buydown (EPBB) Under this tier, solar customers receive an upfront cash payment for their installations.The exact amount of the payment depends on the “expected” performance over the next 5 years.  And this performance is closely tied to the size, tilt, shading, orientation, and location of the installation.Note that the EPBB is only available for smaller solar installations (i.e. residential customers and small business owners).  And this is where most of the solar rebate extension money is headed.Tier 2: the Performance Based Incentive (PBI) Under this tier, solar customers receive monthly payments for 5 years – based on actual performance.  Usually reserved for installations of 30kW or larger, this program is open to residential and commercial customers alike.

So How Much Money Can You Receive from the Solar Rebate?

The solar rebate is essentially free money that the government and utilities give out for installing PV panels.  Customers use the rebate to bring their installation costs down.But how much money can you actually receive?It depends.
  • Some customers only receive enough to cover 10% of their installation costs.
  • Others receive enough to cover 50% or more of their installation costs.
Only by conducting an onsite analysis of your property can we tell you how much money you’d get under the solar rebate program.  Again, it depends on the size, location, orientation, and shading of your system.  The more clean energy your installation produces, the higher the solar rebate payout.In addition, there are a host of smaller local rebates that you can sometimes combine with the CSI rebate.  Click here for an exhaustive list.

The Solar Rebate Won’t Last Forever

Whether you reduce your installation costs by 10% or 50%, the solar rebate is clearly a great thing.But it won’t be around forever.This extra $5 million infusion is only an extension.  And as San Diego homeowners and businesses continue to go solar in increasing numbers, the money will eventually run out.In other words, the sooner you decide to go solar, the greater your chances of enjoying this free lunch.If you’re ready to get started, contact us today for a free consultation.  After we perform an onsite inspection of your property, you’ll know exactly:
  • how much your system will cost
  • how much lower your electricity bill will go
  • how much money you’ll get from the solar rebate program
And you’ll know all of this without spending a single dime. Call or email us today to learn more.

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