SoCal Edison (Still) Offers the Best Solar Rebate in California

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 also sitting on what is arguably the state’s best solar rebate.

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 in incentives 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:

Step goes up, solar incentive and rebate goes down

In which step are we? That depends on your utility. Residential customers 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 rebate of $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 $1.10 per 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:

California's solar rebates

While installing solar panels can still make great sense with the lower rebate from PG&E and SDG&E, I can’t emphasize enough what a good opportunity SCE’s solar rebate presents to homeowners who are thinking about installing solar panels. Think about it this way: if you installed a typical solar home energy system of 5-kW in SDG&E or PG&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 could receive a rebate of $5,500.

Finally, remember that back in the day (2006-07), all these rebates were $2.50 or more per watt. Solar incentive levels are a moving target in California — the sooner you get moving on your solar energy project, the better. (This goes for everyone!)

Source: SoCal Edison (Still) Offers the Best Solar Rebate in California.