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California Solar Rebate Page – Updated

Avatar for Dave Llorens
Published on 09/01/2009 in
Updated 04/24/2020
solar power in california

We’ve just updated our State of California Solar page to include more current solar pricing trends and rebates as of 9-2-09. This time, in addition to showing you how to calculate your own rebate and approximate costs, we’ve provide an example of a 4kW system if you lived in the SCE (Southern California Edison) utility area.  But we’ve also given you a chart for other areas, as well.

So, here’s a repost of the example of a solar home estimate in SCE territory. Let’s pick  Irvine, California, in beautiful Orange County, where you’d be at Step 4 of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) rebate program, or $1.90/watt.

  • You use: 595kWh of  electricity a monthly, or about a $130/month electric bill as of September 2009.
  • You’ll need: About a 4kW (4000 watt) system to cover 93% of your electric bill. If  you want to cover less of your bill, you might need 3kW, but we’re assuming you want to be as green and cost effective as possible.  (It doesn’t pay to go past 99%, but you could with another panel or two.)
  • Cost: The average installed price with perhaps some add-ons is going to be around $7/watt , including panels and everything. COULD BE LESS, since San Diego is quite competitive because you’re reading this in 2010.
  • $7/watt x 4000 watts= $28,000 BEFORE REBATES AND INCENTIVES (Don’t Panic!)
  • Subtract $7,600 ($1.90/watt x 4000 watts) for the SCE rebate.
  • Subtract $6120 for the 30% Federal Tax Incentive.
  • Net Cost: $14,280
  • Years to Payback:  9.3 years ( based on 3% yearly rise in utility rates and Time of Use D-1 rate.)  Keep in mind that your solar panels last 25-30 years!
  • Your new 12 month average electric bill: $21/month.
  • C02 emissions saved from the atmosphere: 7,335 lbs per year or planting .62 acres of trees a year.

So read over the California page for more info, or if you’re intrigued to get your own custom quote in your area and utility from one of our trusted installers, just fill out this neat form here and see what they say. Quotes are always free, so what can it hurt? Seriously. Okay, it hurts a little time, but that’s it.  Enough said.

Last modified: April 24, 2020

3 thoughts on “California Solar Rebate Page – Updated

  1. Avatar for Clyde Clyde says:

    SCE is going to buy back excess consumer generated power at a “retail” rate , apparently effective Jan 2010 per their website. I don’t know if there will be some kind of cap on this.

  2. Avatar for Michele Galletti Michele Galletti says:

    I have been waiting for years for Rebates in Houston Texas. 2009 should be the year? My family was very into the Solar in Ca. My fathe died Sept. of 2008 and I’d like to continue his legacey by doing it here in Houston. Let me know with an email what’s going on with the rebates here in Houston and Spring Woodlands Texas.I’m looking forward to becomming a Texas Rep. asap
    (phone info removed)

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Hi, Michele,

      The bad news is that Texas rebates and incentives are very variable. The state gives Zip, zero, nada, squat. Each individual utility, however, does have a choice to encourage solar and many do. Unfortunately….Houston and many of the smaller “co-op” utilities are not so high on solar…for some reason. But that could change in the future and hopefully in the near future. Call your legislators and have your friends call them and start a campaign. Often with solar, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, as the saying goes. Good luck!

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