California Solar Initiative (CSI)

The California Solar Initiative (CSI) General Market Program closed on December 31, 2016. While California continues its commitment to supporting clean, renewable energy such as solar, market transformation marked by significant drops in equipment prices indicate that direct incentives are no longer necessary. Solar customers are, however, eligible for the State’s Net Metering Program (NEM), which provides financial credit for customer-generated power fed back to the electric grid. NEM is an important element of the policy framework supporting direct customer investment in grid-tied distributed renewable energy generation, including customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Please see below for information about ongoing CSI programs that continue to provide incentives to low-income customers installing solar PV systems and to all utility customers installing solar water heating systems.

  

CSI-Thermal Low-Income Program   CSI General Market Program Achievements by Utility Service Territory

      Goal (MW)            Installed (MW)            Pending (MW)      
SCE 805 823.7 103.3
Non-Residential      539 501.5  
Residential 266 322.2  
PG&E 764 790.8 3
Non-Residential 512 512.7  
Residential 252 278.1  
SDG&E 181 202.6   10
Non-Residential 96 106.2  
Residential 85 96.4  
Total 1750   1817.1 116.3  

Source: California Solar Statistics, data updated February 1, 2017

For more information please see CSI General Market Program Archive.

CSI Subprograms

  • The Single-family Solar Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) Program, providing solar incentives to single-family low income housing; the SASH program is administered through the SASH Program Manager, GRID Alternatives, and has a budget of $54 million.
  • The Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program, providing solar incentives to multifamily low income housing; the MASH program is administered through the same Program Administrators as the general market program: Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and the Center for Sustainable Energy CSE (for San Diego Gas & Electric), and it has a budget of $54 million.
  • The CSI-Thermal Program, providing incentives for solar water heating and other solar thermal technologies to residential and commercial customers of PG&E, SCE, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and SDG&E.
  • The CSI-Thermal Low-Income Program provides higher incentives for solar thermal technologies to multifamily and single-family residential customer in the PG&E, SoCalGas, and SDG&E service territories.

The CSI Program is a subset of the wider solar effort in California that commenced in 2006. In addition to the CPUC’s CSI Program, Senate Bill 1 envisioned that the State of California would also have other programs to support onsite solar projects, including the California Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP), and a variety of solar programs offered through publicly owned utilities (POU). The statewide effort that includes the CSI – as well as the NSHP and the POU programs – and it is known collectively as Go Solar California. The statewide goal of the Go Solar California campaign is 3,000 MW and has a statewide budget of $3.3 billion.

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