The Nuts and Bolts of California's Self Generation Incentive Program | Solar.com

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The Nuts and Bolts of California’s Self Generation Incentive Program

California is taking a bold step toward solar energy self-consumption. On May 1st, California will accept applications for a limited time rebate program that rewards homeowners for purchasing a battery storage system which connects to a solar system (installed or yet to be, more on this later). Solar.com will be collecting applications through the month of April to help our customers obtain the highest rebate amount when the program opens on May 1st.

What is SGIP?

This program is called the ‘Self Generation Incentive Program’, or referred to as SGIP. The California state-funded SGIP incentive budget allocates 75% to energy storage technologies, with 15% of the funds set aside for residential storage projects. The only requirement is that it must be connected to a renewable energy source and classified as a true self-generation facility (i.e. Solar).

SGIP is great because it provides incentives to all different levels of solar customers to consider adding a storage system and making a truly dynamic energy generation system. If you already have solar (installed your solar before hearing about SGIP) and wish to apply, you can just buy the battery and still qualify for the rebate. If you are currently looking to go solar, you can still qualify for the rebate. As long as you have a signed battery agreement or a solar+battery agreement by May 1st, you can still reserve your incentive! You have up to 12 months to install a solar system that is coupled with a battery or to install just a battery to your already existing solar system. Everybody wins.

How the SGIP Application Process Works

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) way of apportioning it is through 3 separate steps. Step 1 has allotted ~$6 Million for residential projects (The CPUC could increase this amount). Step 1 will be distributed as a lottery for all those applications submitted on May 1st.

The incentive rate for Step 1 is $0.50/Wh (Watt-hour) of the usable capacity of the battery you select e.g. a 10 kWh sonnenBatterie system will receive a $5,000 incentive. Once the funds for Step 1 have been exhausted, the Program Administrator will initiate a pause period of no more than 20 days – most industry experts expect it to be one week – before Step 2 begins. On the day it re-opens, your application will be submitted by Solar.com instantly for Step 2, which is a first-come-first-serve process for all those not selected during Step I. Step 2 has an incentive rate of  $0.40/Wh, a ten cent step down from Phase I. Once Phase 2 funds are exhausted, the same process starts over for Phase 3 ($.30/Wh), until all the funds are depleted.

How to Truly Be a Net-Zero Household

The current demand for these batteries is very high, and we want to make sure you reserve your incentive as soon as possible. We will take care of the entire hassle of the SGIP application for you, and are excited to help you claim the best battery incentive the state may ever offer.

If you’d like to see what battery offers are available for this program, please reach out to us through our contact form. There are currently a few different models, like the Sonnenbatterie Eco series, the Tesla Powerwall 2, the LG Chem, and others, which qualify for the rebate. We can walk you through the process in further detail and provide a vendor-neutral opinion on your available options.

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