Incentives provided by Pacific Gas and Electric to homeowners in California to install solar energy equipment were reduced with the discontinuance of the California Solar Initiative Program (CSI) due to lack of funding. However, there are solar incentive options remaining including the New Solar Housing Partnership Program (NSHP), and the Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing Program (SASH).

Let us take a closer look at these incentive programs provided by PG&E, and the benefits they offer.

The New Solar Housing Partnership Program (NSHP) is designed to provide rebate incentives for building new energy efficient homes that install solar energy systems. PG&E designed this program with a pre-specified megawatt capacity, with declining incentives as various threshold levels are reached. This home-solar program will accept new applications until at the latest, December 31, 2016. The California Energy Commission adopted the sixth edition of the NSHP guidebook on April 10, 2013.

There is an incentive within the NSHP program called the Expected Performance-Based Incentive (EPBI), which is determined by an analysis of the efficiency of the equipment. It is based on design factors like the mounting type, orientation, the tilt, and shading of the modules, as well as the geographical location of the building. These criteria are set by the Energy Commission’s Photovoltaic Calculator (CECPV).

The Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing Program (SASH) solar incentive is administrated by GRID Alternatives.

The SASH home solar program encourages the installation of solar systems on low-income single family homes by offsetting the costs of the installation. SASH is a ratepayer-funded program that provides up-front rebates that help low-income homeowners gain access to the advantages of home solar equipment. A minimum of ten percent of California Solar Initiative Funds are dedicated to the Single-Family Affordable Housing Program, and grant significant solar incentive rebates to qualifying residents within the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), the Southern California Edison (SCE), and the San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) service districts.

Additional objectives of SASH are to engage and educate low-income communities on the benefits of solar efficiency and technologies, provide opportunities for community volunteers to participate, and support local green-jobs training and workforce development programs by allowing job trainees to participate in solar electric system installment.

The SASH program has thus far completed 3,300 projects. Originally scheduled to end in 2015, it was recently extended until 2021.

The California Initiative Thermal Program is another solar incentive program that Pacific Gas and Electric has sponsored.

New applicants are now assigned to a waiting list in hopes of renewed funding. This program was designed to provide incentives to homeowners to utilize solar energy to heat their water systems. Customers are encouraged to check back for updates and consult their contractors for current developments.