Applying For Solar Panel Incentives
Once you decide to install solar energy system, either you or your solar installer will need to contact the California Solar Incentive program administrator. You will have to apply for a solar incentive and you’ll have to arrange for your system to be connected to your local utility company.
You will be given an application to fill out. Once the application is completed funds will be reserved based on the size of your system. You can also apply online using Powerclerk.
After your application is approved, you will receive a written notice that will confirm the dollar amount of your reservation. You will also receive an expiration date for installing your system. This is usually 12 months after you’ve been approved.
The incentive payments are usually disbursed in one of two ways;
EPBB- Expected Performance Based Buydown. The applicant will receive the entire amount at the time of installment.
PBI- Performance Based Incentive- The applicant will receive a portion of the amount every month for five years.
As of January 1, 2010, only systems that are smaller than 30 kW will be eligible for the EPBB payment. Any systems that are eligible for the EPBB can opt to take the PBI instead.
Both payment plans are intended to be equal financially. This means that the payment disbursed to an EPBB applicant will be the same after accounting for the time-value as the monthly payments given to a PBI applicant.
In order to create a self sustaining market for solar energy systems, without government subsidies, the incentive payments will decline as the market grows. This means the incentive levels decline as more and more people apply for the program.
If you have a system that is smaller then 50kW, you can calculate how much your up front incentive will be by using the California Solar Initiative EPBB Calculator.