Distributed Generation Interconnection Programs

There are many distributed generation interconnection programs offered by the California Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) which include Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). These programs include but are not limited to net energy metering (NEM) programs.

Net Energy Metering (NEM) Programs

Net energy metering, or "NEM", is a special billing arrangement that provides credit to customers with distributed generation systems (such as solar PV systems) for the excess electricity their system generates. Under NEM, the customer's electric meter keeps track of how much electricity is consumed by the customer and how much excess electricity is generated by the system then sent back into the electric utility grid. Per CPUC decision (D.)14-11-001, the CA IOUs started publishing solar PV NEM application data in July 2015. For more information regarding the IOU NEM programs, their NEM caps and other issues pertaining to interconnection, please visit each IOU's respective websites below.

Resources

»PG&E NEM
»SCE NEM
»SDG&E NEM
»Download NEM Data

Other Interconnection Programs

There are other distributed generation interconnection programs including non-export and other Rule 21 programs. For more information about these and other IOU distributed generation interconnection programs, please visit PG&E, SCE or SDG&E’s respective interconnection websites. Data for these other interconnection programs is currently not available.

Distributed Generation Incentive Programs

Since 1998, California has supported distributed generation technologies such as solar photovoltaics, solar hot water, wind, batteries, fuel cells, biogas and more through a variety of incentive programs, including the Emerging Renewables Program and later the Self-Generation Incentive Program. In 2006, the California Solar Initiative was created by Senate Bill 1 with a total budget of $2.167 billion and a goal to install approximately 1,940 MW of new solar generation capacity between 2007 and 2016. The CSI program, implemented by various program administrators and overseen by the CPUC, has many components: a general market solar incentive program, low income solar incentive programs, a new solar homes program, and a solar thermal incentive program. All of these programs are covered in more depth below.

CSI General Market Program

The CSI General Market program aimed to incentivize 1,750 MW of market rate solar in IOU territories by 2017 with an incentive budget of $1.947 billion dollars. Data from the California Solar Initiative had previously been publicly available on the California Solar Statistics website, but it is now available on California DG Stats. The program is overseen by the CPUC and administered by PG&E, SCE and CSE (in SDG&E territory). Additionally, legacy California Solar Statistics charts and graphs displaying CSI data remain available.

Resources

»General Market Budget Report
»Monthly, Quarterly, Annual Statistics
»Data Annex
»Application Status
»Program Goals
»Program Totals
»Download CSI Data

CSI Thermal Program

A component of the California Solar Initiative includes providing residential and non-residential incentives for electric-, natural gas-, or propane-displacing solar hot water heating systems. The CSI Thermal program has a budget of $250 million to promote the installation of 200,000 solar thermal systems in homes and businesses by 2017. The program is overseen by the CPUC and administered by PG&E, SCE and CSE (in SDG&E territory).

Resources

»View CSI Thermal Statistics
»Apply for CSI Thermal Rebates
»Download CSI Solar Thermal Data

Multi-family Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program

In 2006, the Legislature passed Assembly Bill (AB) 2723 requiring the Commission to ensure that not less than 10% of overall CSI funds be used for installing solar PV on low-income properties. The MASH program was established in 2008 with $108 million in funding to provide incentives for solar PV systems on qualifying, multi-family affordable housing properties. In 2013, the Legislature passed AB 217, which extended the MASH and SASH programs and authorized a total of $108 million of additional funding across both programs. The CPUC allocated $54 million in funding for the MASH program and established a goal of installing an additional 35 megawatts (MW) on multi-family affordable housing by 2021.The MASH program is overseen by the CPUC and administered by PG&E, SCE and CSE (in SDG&E territory).

Resources

»View MASH Budget Report
»Learn about MASH
»Download Low-Income Solar PV Data

Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program

In 2006, the Legislature passed Assembly Bill (AB) 2723 requiring the CPUC to ensure that not less than 10% of overall CSI funds be used for installing solar PV on low-income residential housing. The SASH program was established in 2007 with $108 million in funding to provide incentives for solar PV systems on existing owner-occupied low-income households. In 2013 the Legislature passed AB 217 which extended the MASH and SASH programs and authorized a total of $108 million in additional funding across both programs. The CPUC allocated $54 million in funding for the SASH program and established a goal of installing 15 megawatts (MW) on low income single family homes by 2021. The SASH program is overseen by the CPUC and administered by GRID Alternatives.

Resources

»Learn about SASH
»Download Low-Income Solar PV Data

New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP)

The New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) is part of the CSI program and has a goal to install 360 MW of solar on new homes. NSHP provides financial incentives and other support to home builders, encouraging the construction of new, energy efficient solar homes. The NSHP program is overseen by the CPUC and currently administered by the California Energy Commission.

Resources

»Learn about NSHP
»Apply for NSHP Rebates
»Download NSHP Data

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

In 2001 the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) was created to provide financial incentives to support existing, new, and emerging distributed energy resources that are installed to meet all or a portion of the electric energy needs of a facility. Qualifying technologies include wind turbines, waste heat to power technologies, pressure reduction turbines, internal combustion engines, microturbines, gas turbines, fuel cells, and advanced energy storage systems. Please note that prior to 2007 SGIP provided incentives for solar PV systems larger than 30kW. The program is overseen by the CPUC and administered by PG&E, SCE, Southern California Gas Company (SCG) and CSE (in SDG&E territory).

Resources

»Learn about SGIP
»Apply for SGIP Rebates
»View SGIP Statistics
»Download SGIP Data

Emerging Renewables Program (ERP)

Starting in 1998, the Emerging Renewables Program (ERP) began incentivizing PV systems (in addition to other renewable energy systems) under 30 kW. ERP stopped incentivizing solar PV systems in 2007 when the California Solar Initiative launched. On June 27th, 2012 the ERP closed and stopped accepting applications. The program was administered by the California Energy Commission.

Resources

»Learn about the ERP
»Download ERP Data

Publicly Owned Utilities (POU) Solar PV Incentives

In addition to the creation of the California Solar Initiative, SB-1 also required California’s publicly owned utilities (POUs) to create a solar incentive program by January 1, 2008. Collectively, the publicly owned utility solar incentive programs will use $700 million to install 784 MW of solar installations. The program is overseen by the CEC and administered by the respective POUs.

Resources

»Download POU Data