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The Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP): How Homeowners Save on Solar Batteries in California

Published Nov. 17, 2023

There are more solar panels than ever on residential rooftops in California. These homeowners enjoy the benefits of clean, affordable energy generated by their panels.

But solar panels aren’t the only key element of a fully-optimized solar energy system. Solar + energy storage (also called “solar batteries” or “home batteries”) is the new standard in California.

Why are homeowners opting to add battery storage to their solar systems?

  • Energy bill savings: Batteries enable homeowners to use all of the energy generated by their solar panels while minimizing the amount of energy exported back to the utility for low-value bill credits. This especially benefits those with Time-Of-Use (TOU) pricing whose utility electricity costs peak in the evenings. Battery owners can use their stored energy instead of paying these higher rates.
  • Independence from soaring electricity costs: California utility electricity rate increases show no signs of slowing. In fact, between 2020 and 2023, PG&E’s average homeowner-paid rate increased by over 49%. With PG&E now requesting another 22% increase, it’s no wonder why homeowners opt to use stored energy.
  • Protection from power outages: Households with solar batteries stay powered even during outages. Their stored energy shelters them from both planned and unexpected power outages.

Aside from these benefits, California leaders have created an additional motivator for California homeowners to install batteries: The Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).

In this blog post, we will cover:

  • What SGIP is
  • Eligibility requirements for SGIP
  • Examples of Citadel customers who have benefited from SGIP
  • How to apply for SGIP

What is the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)?

The Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) was created in 2016 to offset some demand for grid electricity to clean energy technologies. It was an effort to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce peak grid electricity usage
  • Promote energy storage for electric resiliency, especially during public safety power shutdowns

SGIP rewards homeowners with solar batteries for the positive influence they have on the environment and on the electricity grid.

Who pays for SGIP?

The Self-Generation Incentive Program is funded by the ratepayers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The program’s budget for 2020-2024 is $813,400,000.

How much can I receive through SGIP?

Your SGIP rebate amount depends on a variety of factors, such as energy storage capacity and location. For example, if you live in an area frequently impacted by power outages, you are likely to receive a larger rebate through SGIP.

Our homeowner customers typically receive between $1,300 and $36,000 in rebates. Read on for some specific examples of our customers’ SGIP rebate amounts.

Who is Eligible for SGIP?

Eligible SGIP participants include California homeowners who are electricity customers of any of the following utility companies:

  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
  • San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
  • Southern California Edison (SCE)
  • Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas)

Some SGIP funding is allocated to specific applicants. These include those in low-income housing, small businesses, governmental agencies, and residents of San Joaquin Valley.

What solar batteries are eligible for the SGIP rebate?

All major battery manufacturers and models are eligible, such as Tesla Powerwalls, Enphase IQ batteries, and FranklinWH batteries.

MKT_DaveD_210730-copy_v2-400x400Over $5.2MM in SGIP Rebates Secured for Citadel Customers!

As of November 2023, we at Citadel have helped our customers secure $5,202,642.13 in SGIP rebates! This includes $4,766,539.80 in paid-out rebates and an additional $436,102.33 in confirmed reservations pending payment.

Here are some of our customer’s experiences:

  • Daniel A. is a PG&E customer in El Dorado. He received $26,400 in rebates through SGIP for his Tesla Powerwall installation. Here is what he said about his experience working with Citadel:

“Excellent people here who follow through with everything to the T! Easy to work with and pricing is fair. Chris, Holly, Lam are the superstars of this company and I have referred many of neighbors who have already moved forward with back up batteries and additional solar panels.”

  • Tom L., a PG&E customer in Moraga received a $22,091.22 rebate through SGIP! He chose Citadel for his Tesla Powerwall purchase and installation. About the experience, he said:

“I had a different company reroof my house and install solar panels. That was a big mistake. After having Citadel Roofing & Solar (CRS) handle the battery back-up project for my solar system, it was clear I should have had them do everything. . . . I was fortunate to qualify for PG&E’s SGIP funding. The coordination and paperwork involved in that program was very complex. Tiffanie‘s knowledge of the program made that process remarkably smooth. I didn’t have to worry about a thing. All I had to do was wait for my reimbursement check from PG&E.”

  • Eric K. is a PG&E customer in Clovis. He received $3,960.00 in rebates through SGIP for his Tesla Powerwall. He said the following about his experience with Citadel:

“We bought a new house in Clovis that came with solar and was installed by Citadel. We decided to install a bigger solar system and Tesla battery storage. . . From the sales through the rebate process, we had a great experience with them. They are very communicative and responsive to any questions/concerns. We had a few items post installation that needed follow up and I was very impressed that they sent technicians usually the following day to fix the issue. Citadel also took care of the PG&E battery cash rebate process – from filing the paperwork to following up with PG&E, we were very thankful to have Citadel guide us through the process. We love our solar systems and Tesla battery storage  - thank you Citadel!”

  • Tom-M-Review-Photo-600x400Citadel customer Tom M. received $1,455.90 in rebates through SGIP for his Tesla Powerwall. Here’s what he said about his solar energy system installation by Citadel:

“Absolutely fantastic job with our solar and Powerwall project, start to finish . . . The field team was right on schedule and cared absolutely about quality and finished work. Now I'm watching on a Tesla app as sun power completely carries the home load and charges the powerwalls to continue carrying the home load after sunset. Awesome job... we recommend Citadel completely!”

  • Another Citadel customer, Suzanne N., received an SGIP rebate of $2,975.00 for her two Franklin batteries. Here’s what she said about her experience:

“I’m so glad we chose Citadel for our Franklin battery installation! Their team was responsive and easy to work with, and their installation work was top-notch. The batteries have already helped us save so much on our electricity bill. I’m thrilled with the investment.

The icing on the cake was that they handled the SGIP rebate application for us. This rebate was a surprise to us, and now I have extra money for holiday shopping.

Citadel is a trustworthy company that does things right. I recommend them to everyone!”

Browse more Citadel customer stories here.

How Homeowners Can Apply for the SGIP Rebate

Homeowners who work with us at Citadel to purchase and install their solar batteries enjoy an easy application process.

That’s because we manage the SGIP application process for our customers. After helping thousands of customers take advantage of SGIP, we know how to secure the largest rebate customers qualify for.

We guide customers through all of the milestones in order to help them secure their rebate checks as soon as possible. The first step is reserving the rebate, which can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The second step is requesting the payout when the battery storage system is up and running, which can take up to 30 days. Once final approval is received, customers receive their checks in just a few weeks.

Here are the specific steps to expect when applying for the SGIP rebate (if you become a Citadel customer, we will guide you through these):

  1. Submit a completed Reservation Request Form (RRF) form to the SGIP administrator
  2. Receive a letter from the program administrator confirming your reservation
  3. Submit another form called the Incentive Claim Form (ICF) to the SGIP administrator once the battery is up and running
    *This is due no later than 12 months after Step 2

Soon after that, you’ll receive your SGIP rebate check!

Franklin-Home-Battery-Install-Aug-2023-2-600x400Haven’t Installed Solar Batteries Yet?

If you haven’t yet installed your solar batteries, it’s the perfect time to find a great solar battery installer. That installer should guide you through the Self-Generation Incentive Program process for your convenience, and most importantly, to help you secure the largest possible rebate.

We at Citadel have the installation experience and SGIP expertise you need. Whether you’re looking to add a battery to your existing solar energy system or want to install solar and battery storage for the first time, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be happy to help you become another Citadel and SGIP success story.

In Conclusion

From greater independence from your utility company to sheltering your home against power outages, there are many great reasons to install a solar battery for energy storage. The Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) is the icing on the cake, potentially putting thousands of dollars back in your pocket.

The SGIP is first-come, first-served and funds are not guaranteed, so don’t wait too long to get started! Reach out to our team for a free quote for your California solar project: