One of the best financial incentives for batteries in the US is California’s Self Generation Incentive Program, or SGIP. If you are a home or business owner in California, SGIP provides rebates that help you to significantly reduce the cost of installing an energy storage product. We get a lot of questions from homeowners who are curious about how to best take advantage of this incentive program and to claim their SGIP rebate, so we read through all of the program documentation and compiled the relevant info below. Let us know what you think and, as always, feel free to reach out to one of our Energy Advisors if you have any questions about your specific project.
A quick background on SGIP
As described in greater detail in our SGIP-specific article, SGIP is a tiered-block program that provides upfront rebate payments to customers in California that install energy storage systems based on the size of your system. The level of incentives gradually declines over time as more batteries are installed in the state: for instance, the program is now in Step 5 of rebates.
To date, SGIP has been very successful in encouraging California home and business owners to install energy storage systems. In fact, in 2018, nearly sixty percent of all residential energy storage systems installed nationally were installed in California. To keep the program moving full-steam ahead, California passed Senate Bill 700 to extend the funding for SGIP, ultimately injecting an additional $675 million dollars into the program over the next five years.
What SGIP offers for energy storage
For residential customers, SGIP is currently in Step 5, which provides a rebate of $250 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of stored energy. As seen in the table below, for commonly installed batteries, this means a rebate payment between $2,000 and $5,000. If you pair your battery with a new or existing solar panel system, you can also claim the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which will refund you 26% of the cost of your battery as a credit on your taxes next year.
|Battery||kWh stored||SGIP payment|
|Tesla Powerwall 2||13.5||$3,375|
|LG Chem RESU 10H||9.3||$2,325|
|Sonnen eco 12||12||$3,000|
|Blue Ion 2.0||16||$4,000|
|ElectrIQ PowerPod 20.2||17.1||$4,275|
|Generac PWRcell 15||14.3||$3,575|
Note: many of these batteries are “stackable”, meaning you can work with your installer to add or subtract battery cells to get to the size of the system and cost that fits your home’s needs.
Importantly, SGIP also now provides a higher equity and equity resiliency rebate of $1,000 per kWh of stored energy. For families that meet certain income requirements, are in areas that are in high fire-threat districts, or have experienced multiple public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events, this rebate will effectively pay for the entire cost of your battery.
A quick note on SGIP funding
As of the time of writing, homeowners applying for SGIP equity and equity resiliency budgets in most of the state are being placed on funding waitlists. According to guidance from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the SGIP Program Administrator and the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA), this is the case for one primary reason: although the CPUC approved the additional $700 million in funding for the SGIP program, the funds have not yet been released. Based on what we’ve read and heard, it sounds like this funding will become available in July of this year.
How to claim your SGIP rebate
The quick answer? Work with an experienced installer, and they will do most of the work!
CPUC provides the following steps as guidance for claiming the SGIP rebate:
- Do your research and find reputable, experienced local contractors (which you can do easily on EnergySage!);
- Work with installers to determine and install the right battery for you;
- And work with your installer to fill out the application, and your installer will submit the application for you.
For installers, the application is much more complicated than this three-step process for homeowners. Upfront, they’ll need to submit a reservation for a spot in the queue for the specific incentive level. This includes rather in-depth forms for monitoring plans and site evaluation. Then, once the project is installed, to ultimately claim the rebate, your installer will submit forms with a detailed cost breakdown for the project as installed.
If you have any questions about the process overall, your electric utility is the program administrator for SGIP rebates, and can be a great resource to help you with the application process.
Find reputable installers by shopping on EnergySage
A great way to receive quotes for solar and storage from reputable solar installers is to sign up for a free account on the EnergySage Marketplace. With just your address and monthly bill amount, installers will provide you with custom-designed solar and storage systems to meet your home’s needs. Interested but want to learn more about saving with solar first? Check out our quick and easy Solar Calculator to estimate how much you could start saving by going solar.