Sce Solar Interconnection Policies And Costs
The last step to have your solar panels connected to the grid is to submit an interconnection request, which your solar installer will often do on your behalf. The interconnection request ensures that SCE is aware that your property has a solar power system and that your system is safe to operate.
To fulfill your request, SCE will examine your system to ensure that your solar installer complied with:
- All SCE regulations for interconnection
- Requirements for your electrical panel
- The National Electrical Code
- Any other applicable local codes
There is no interconnection request fee required in SCEs original net metering policy. Under NEM 2.0, SCEs interconnection request fee will be $75.
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Does The Golden State Offer Any Other Solar Incentives
Net energy metering , or net metering, allows solar customers to feed any excess energy generated by their solar panels back to the local power grid. In exchange, customers receive credits from their utility companies that can be applied to future energy bills.
As most solar systems generate more energy than a home uses, selling that surplus power back to a utility company provides homeowners additional savings on their electricity bills and lowers the demand for grid-supplied electricity in the region.
California currently offers a statewide net metering program for residents generating electricity with solar panels. Exact credit values will vary based on your utility company.
Some local utility companies and municipalities also have their own solar rebates and incentives, such as Sacramentos $300 rebate for homeowners using solar as a grid alternative energy source.
Most top solar companies in California will help you identify local solar programs youre eligible for, but its always worth taking a look at your local government and utility company websites to see if there are any additional incentives to take advantage of.
Length Of The Solar Installation Process
The whole process usually takes between 3-4 months to complete, as long as everything goes according to plan.
The actual installation will take 1-2 days with workers on your roof and installing other system components like the inverter and the main connection to your homes electrical panel. Once youve gotten permission to operate, simply turn your system on and start saving money!
Lets discuss a bit about how that works:
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Energy Savings Assistance Program
The Energy Savings Assistance Program, funded by Southern California Edison , provides comprehensive energy-saving home improvements and services to income-qualified renters and homeowners whose homes are at least five years old. These are installed NO COST by Quality Conservation Services and other approved and licensed contractors. NOTE: The Southern California Edison program may be combined with the Southern California Gas Program or the Southwest Gas Program for additional free improvements.
Free energy improvements offered by Quality Conservation to eligible homeowners and renters* in single family, multi-unit, or mobile homes who are active residential-metered customers of SCE may include:
Energy Efficient Refrigerator replacement
Replacement of outdoor lighting fixtures
Pool pump replacement
Cooling system upgrades
Water-saving aerators and showerheads
Enrollment for CARE utility bill discounts of 20% and 30-35%
*Renters need written permission from property owners to receive program services.
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The only thing this is going to do is reduce rooftop solar, Professor Jacobson said. That will mean there will be more natural gas in the system. Every rooftop should have solar on it. You should be encouraging more of it.
People who install solar panels on their roofs or property are still connected to the electrical grid, but they receive credit on their bills for power they produce beyond what they use. Californias proposal would cut the value of those credits, which are roughly equivalent to retail electricity rates, by about 87 percent. In addition, the measure would impose a new monthly fee on solar homeowners about $56 for the typical rooftop system.
Fairness has been at the heart of Californias solar debate.
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How Much Does Sce Pay For Solar Energy
Solar customers in SCE territory are credited for the energy they send to the grid at the retail rate, minus about 2.5 cents/kWh in non-bypassable charges discussed above. The price they get credited depends on whether the energy was sent during peak or off-peak hours. This is why some homeowners install solar panels on their west-facing roofs, to capture more energy late in the day, in order to offset high peak prices.
Batteries can also be used to store solar energy during the day so you dont have to use any energy during peak times.
SCE net metering runs for a period of 12 months after which youll be billed based on your total net usage of the grid, or paid a credit based on the excess energy your solar panels produced above your usage. This means you only pay for energy once a year! In all other months, youll only have to pay the $10 or so connection charge.
Every month, youll get a bill from SCE that details how much energy you used from the grid, how much your solar panels generated, and how much you owe or how much credit you have. The monthly statement will also include a True-Up update, that gives you an estimate of how much you will owe at the end of your 12-month billing period, as well as the date it will come due.
Poll: Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose California Plan To Crush Popular Rooftop Solar Program
SAN FRANCISCO Sixty-four percent of California voters oppose a power-industry-backed plan by the states Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, to crush a popular rooftop solar program by ending incentives and imposing a hefty monthly tax on solar, a new poll finds.
The survey of 900 voters, released by Newport Beach-based Probolsky Research last week, found clear majorities of Californians across the political spectrum all oppose the CPUC plan. The proposal is backed by the investor-owned utilities Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric.
Only 20 percent of voters in the state support the CPUC-utility plot to hobble the clean energy program, according to the survey.
Probolsky Research President Adam Probolsky said the results of the survey should send a warning to regulators that supporting the proposal to gut the states rooftop solar program would be wildly unpopular with virtually every group of residents in California, regardless of political leanings, age, race or region.
It appears that California regulators are out of touch with the voters on this issue, said Probolsky. Voters across the spectrum Democratic, No Party Preference, and Republican oppose these incentive cuts. In fact, in every way of looking at the data, by age, gender, preferred language, and geography, voters align in their opposition to cutting solar incentives.
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Is Solar Worth It For Sce Customers
The short, easy answer to the question above is YES. The average homeowner in SCE territory can save an estimated $48,000 over 25 years, AFTER they pay back their initial cost.
The average 4.6 kW system we used as an example above would pay back its cost in about 5 years, 7 months. After its paid off, the solar panels would continue to make clean energy to power the home for 20 more yearsunder warrantysaving the homeowner an estimated $48,000 along the way.
Thats a great deal! And if your average bill is higher than $200, you use more energy than most people do in a month, and could stand to save even more with solar.
For more in-depth information on all-things solar in the Golden State, check out our 2022 California Solar Panel Guide.
Possible Changes Coming To Nem
The program in question is called net energy metering, or NEM, and it was launched in 1995. Since then, more than 1.3 million residential solar systems have been installed across the Golden State more than any other state.
The program allows residential solar customers to sell whatever excess solar energy they dont use back to power companies at the retail rate for power, typically resulting in a discount on their energy bills.
The California Public Utilities Commission is now weighing changes to net energy metering that would instead pay residential solar customers at the lower avoided cost rate, based on what the utility would have spent to purchase that power at wholesale rates.
The Imperial Irrigation District implemented a similar change more than five years ago. As a publicly owned utility, IID is not subject to the CPUCs jurisdiction, and in July 2016, IID discontinued its NEM program after meeting a state-mandated net metering threshold.
While customers enrolled before then remain in the net metering program, new solar customers who installed solar panels after that date were enrolled in IIDs new net billing program, which compensates customers for excess solar energy at 6.98 cents per kilowatt-hour, based on IIDs lowest wholesale solar contract cost.
“I think the first program has been worth it, but I don’t think the second program would have been worth it,” she said.
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Net Energy Metering Program Requirements
- Application fees :
- $75 for projects < 1 MW
- $800 for projects > 1 MW
On July 11, 2019, the CPUC approved Resolution E-5000.
Resolution E-5000 clarifies and mandates smart inverter Phase 2 Communication Requirements and Phase 3 Functions in addition to all previous smart inverter requirements. The effective date for these requirements has been extended by the CPUC from January 22, 2020, to the new effective date of . All new interconnection applications must apply with a smart inverter that is certified or otherwise compliant with the resolution process.
*There is one exception to the mandatory TOU requirement for residential customers who have no TOU rates available to them .
Southern California Edison Starts Community Solar Program For Customers
This week, Southern California Edison announced that it has signed on the first developer, SharedSolarCA, to its Community Renewables Program that will allow residential and business customers to take advantage of solar energy without having to install it directly on their roofs or facilities.
Its a fairly straightforward process but a bit unlike other community solar programs in other states in which customers purchase a portion of an existing solar farms solar capacity in their communities and then receive a bill credit for the output of the farm based on how much electricity their share of the array produces in any given month.
With the SCE program, customers sign up with SharedSolarCA to receive solar energy in kilowatt-hour blocks based on their electricity use and customers receive a bill from SharedSolarCA for the portion of solar energy they signed up to take. SharedSolarCA provides that information to SCE so SCE can give the customer a credit on their bill. The credit is based on the portion of the projects solar energy output that the customer has purchased.
Customers who enroll will start to receive a SCE bill credit within 60 days of enrollment. If they enroll before the facility is operational, the credit will be applied once the facility begins to generate solar energy.
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What Will Happen To My Excess Sce Net Metering Bill Credits
If you install a solar panel system that is sized to meet your electricity needs for the entire year, there will be some months where your panels produce more electricity than you need and some months where your panels produce less.
When your panels produce more energy than you can use over the course of a month, you will receive bill credits on your SCE bill that can be used in future months. If your panels produce more electricity than you use over the course of twelve months, you are credited for the extra kilowatt-hours at the Net Surplus Compensation Rate .
To set the value of the NSCR, SCE calculates a per-kilowatt hour value for each month based on electricity market prices. At the end of twelve months, you will receive a bill credit for any extra electricity at the rate that SCE has determined for that month.
Solar Energy System Property Tax Exclusion
In California, people who install a solar- or wind-powered device to produce energy for their residence or place of business are entitled to an exemption for the amount of value the device contributes to their property. This essentially means anyone who installs solar panels or other solar-powered devices on their property is exempt from paying property taxes equivalent to the property value increase as a result of adding said system until 2025.
Its a win-win: your solar system could increase the value of your home and you dont have to pay property taxes on it. This incentive is a great benefit, especially for people who require a larger system to offset their electricity usage.
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What Solar Tax Credits And Rebate Programs Are Available To Californians
Rooftop solar panels have long proved a reliable and savvy financial investment for Californians, and many buyers are able to secure a speedy return on investment . However, there is currently no statewide California solar tax credit to help residents with the upfront cost of solar panels in California.
That said, all Californians are eligible for the federal solar tax credit, and the state offers several incentive programs and solar rebates aimed at further increasing access to reliable, affordable solar panels.
|California Solar Incentive|
|This incentive ensures the addition of a solar panel installation doesnt raise homeowners property taxes.|
|Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes Program||The California Solar Initiative launched SASH to provide fixed, up-front incentives on qualifying affordable single-family housing.|
Is Sce Net Metering The Best In California
SCEs net metering program isl be structured the same way as the two other largest utilities in the state, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric.
However, there are some other electric utilities in California that offer simpler net metering policies, because they dont require solar system owners to enroll in time-of-use rates. Because SCEs NEM 2.0 program uses TOU rates, solar homeowners wont always get the maximum value out of their solar electricity grid electricity during the early to mid-afternoon hours will cost less, so the solar electricity sent back to the grid during those times will receive a slightly lower net metering credit. That being said, a good solar installer can help you design a solar system that generates more power during the high-cost peak hours in order to reduce your monthly bills.
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Southern California Edison Net Metering
Like other solar net metering programs in California, the SCE NEM 2.0 program is designed to help manage the electricity consumption of a household. It is not, however, intended as a way for a household to earn extra income from their credits.
Southern California Edison net metering is available for households with renewable energy systems such as solar photovoltaic, wind, fuel cell, biogas, biomass, digester gas, geothermal, hydroelectric, landfill gas, municipal solid waste conversion, ocean thermal, ocean wave, solar thermal and tidal current.
Southern California Edison net metering works with a meter that measures the input and output of energy in a household. If there is a need for more energy than what the energy system at home can provide, energy can be taken from the SCE grid, measured through the meter and billed to the customer. At times when the energy system produces more energy than what the household consumes, the energy can be given to the SCE energy grid, measured by the meter and credited back to the customer to offset the current or future bills of the household. Billing may take place monthly or annually depending on the schedule provided to the customer.
California Solar Initiative Program In A Nutshell
The California Solar Initiative program is meant for Californian consumers who are essentially customers of investor-owned utility companies like Pacific Gas and Electric , San Diego Gas & Electric or Southern California Edison . A part of the Go Solar California campaign, the CSI program offers a number of benefits, such as:
- Funds can be accessed for installing solar power systems in existing as well as new houses, commercial and agricultural properties and government or non-profit buildings.
- Funds can be secured for installation of solar energy based thermal or hot water systems in homes and business offices.
- Homeowners with lower incomes can take advantage of the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes scheme, under CSI.
- Homeowners who own multiple houses can benefit from the Multi-Family Affordable Solar Homes scheme, under CSI.
- Funds are made available for undertaking research and development work related to solar technologies.
Basic Requirements to Secure Southern California Solar Panel Rebates
Rebates provided under Southern California Solar Initiative program can help homeowners save money in the long run, depending on the amount of energy being generated. Incentives are offered under these programs only if power is generated by PV cells, wind, hot water systems, etc.
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