About the California Solar Initiative (CSI)
The California Solar Initiative (CSI) is the solar rebate program for California consumers that are customers of the investor-owned utilities - Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). Together with the rebate program for New Solar Homes and rebate programs offered through the dozens of publicly owned utilities in the state - the CSI program is a key component of the Go Solar California campaign for California.
- A solar rebate program for customers in PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E territories. This program funds solar on existing homes, existing or new commercial, agricultural, government and non-profit buildings. This program funds both solar photovoltaics (PV), as well as other solar thermal generating technologies. This program is sometimes referred to as the CSI general market program.
- A solar hot water rebate program for customers in PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E territories. This program funds solar hot water (solar thermal systems) on homes and businesses. This program is called the CSI-Thermal program.
- A solar rebate program for low-income residents that own their own single-family home and meet a variety of income and housing eligibility criteria. This program is called the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program.
- A solar rebate program for multifamily affordable housing. This program is called the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program.
- A solar grant program to fund grants for research, development, demonstration and deployment (RD&D) of solar technologies. This program is the CSI RD&D program.
The CSI offers solar customers different incentive levels based on the performance of their solar panels, including such factors as installation angle, tilt, and location rather than system capacity alone. This performance framework ensures that California is generating clean solar energy and rewarding systems that can provide maximum solar generation.
The CSI program has a total budget of $2.167 billion between 2007 and 2016 and a goal to install approximately 1,940 MW of new solar generation capacity. The CSI-Thermal portion of the program has a total budget of $250 million between 2010 and 2017, and a goal to install 200,000 new solar hot water systems. The CSI program is funded by electric ratepayers and the CSI-Thermal portion of the program is funded by gas ratepayers. The CSI program is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission and rebates are offered through the Program Administrators.