California Center for Sustainable Energy | Pacific Gas & Electric Company | Southern California Edison
California Solar Initiative (CSI) Newsletter - December 2007

In This Issue

Proposed Handbook Changes will Simplify and Streamline

Performance Based Incentive Required for 50+kW Systems in 2008

Trigger Tracker Snapshot for December, 2008

PG&E Nonresidential Moves to Step 5

PG&E's transition from Residential Electric Rate Schedule E7 to E6

CEC’s Final Proposed SB1 Guidelines

PG&E Backlog Tamed

2008 Interim Marketing and Outreach Plans Filed with the Commission

Where to Find Program Information (FAQs Online)

Call for Photos of CSI-Funded Solar Systems


Useful Links

California Center for Sustainable Energy

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Southern California Edison

California Public Utilities Commission 

California state solar incentive Web site

CSI Handbook



Welcome to the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Monthly Newsletter. The Program Administrators
California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), and Southern California Edison (SCE)—and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) would like to thank you for making the CSI program the best solar incentive program in the nation. This newsletter is designed to ensure you are well informed about changes and important news related to the CSI program.

Proposed Handbook Changes will Simplify and Streamline

On November 28th, SCE filed two Advice Letters (AL) at the CPUC on behalf of the CSI Program Administrators. The ALs contain over 30 proposed revisions to the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Program Handbook, aimed at streamlining program requirements and improving the CSI application process. The public comment period ended on December 17th, and no protests were received. If approved, the CPUC will reissue a new CSI Program Handbook. Stay tuned for further updates in January. For all the details, have a look at the filings themselves:
>> view AL-2185-E
>> view AL-2186-E


Performance Based Incentive Required for 50+kW Systems in 2008

January 1, 2008, marks the date on which all PV systems equal to or greater than 50 kW CEC-AC will be required to participate in the Performance Based Incentive (PBI). Systems under 50kW may still apply for Expected Performance Buy Back (EPBB) incentives. Last year, systems up to 100kW could apply for EPBB incentives and all those 100kW or greater were subject to the PBI rules. . Lowering the threshold for PBI incentives is a design feature of the California Solar Initiative that ensures adoption of the performance paradigm set forth under SB1, moving the state closer to its goal of 3000 MW of solar energy production by 2016. The system size threshold will lower again in January 2010, at which time systems equal to or greater than 30 kW CEC-AC must take the PBI incentive structure. For information on the Performance Based Incentive (PBI) design, refer to section 1.4.2 on page 7 of the CSI Program Handbook.
>> view the CSI Program Handbook


Trigger Tracker Snapshot for December, 2008

The California Solar Initiative Trigger Tracker is an indicator of when the CSI incentive levels are expected to drop. Installers can consult the Statewide Trigger Tracker to track the current incentive "step" for each customer class and territory, the megawatts available in each step, the megawatts under review, and the megawatts left in each step. If there are more megawatts under review than left in the step, then it may be probable that any new applications will be at the next (i.e. LOWER) incentive step level.

Below is a snapshot of today's data from the Statewide Trigger Point Tracker.

TRIGGER TRACKER SNAPSHOT FOR DECEMBER 20, 2007
Administrator
Customer
Current Step
  MW  in Step
MW Under Review
Residential
3
14.4
1.69
Non-Res
4
38.10
18.95
Residential
2
10.60
1.11
Non-Res
4
40.10
12.54
Residential
2
2.40
0.10
Non-Res
4
9.00
0.03

>> view the Statewide Trigger Tracker data in its entirety. 

PG&E Nonresidential Moves to Step 5

Continuing the high pace of residential and nonresidential applications, PG&E as of December 18th has received enough megawatts that are under review that will move the nonresidential incentive from Step 4 ($0.26/ kWh) to Step 5 ($0.22/ kWh). The PG&E team is quickly reviewing the applications that have come in within the past week which filled up the remaining 7 megawatts available to identify those applicants who have reservation in Step 4. This process should be completed within the next 20 business days. For those projects that have not sent in an application to PG&E, we strongly recommended using Step 5 as part of your project analysis. For those that have any concerns or questions on your specific applications please contact the PG&E team directly.


PG&E's transition from Residential Electric Rate Schedule E7 to E6

Beginning January 1, 2008, PG&E’s residential electric time-of-use (TOU) rates E-7 and EL-7 will no longer be options for new solar customers. During 2007, PG&E and solar industry representatives worked together to create revised residential TOU EL-6 and E-6 rate schedules that were responsive to the needs of the solar industry. While no rate will be perfect for every customer, the revised EL-6/E-6 rate schedules effective in 2008 were specifically designed with solar customers in mind. Customers currently on EL-7 and E7 will be able to remain on these rate schedules.
>> view additional information


CEC’s Final Proposed SB1 Guidelines

The CEC has released its final “Guidelines for California’s Solar Energy Incentive Programs Pursuant to SB1”. The Guidelines detail the CEC’s recommendations for all solar programs, including the California Solar Initiative. The Guidelines cover how each program should establish eligibility, including component standards, system design and installation, and energy efficiency requirements. The CPUC will consider the implementation of the proposed CEC Guidelines, particularly as it pertains to the California Solar Initiative application process in 2008. Stay tuned for further updates.
>> view CEC Guidelines


PG&E Backlog Tamed

November 20th was a day for celebration in PG&E’s solar division. What had become an eight week review period over the summer and early fall was successfully managed back to the program review goal of 10 days. This was accomplished through increased staffing, process improvements and seeking ways to simplify the application process. Hats off to those on the team for their late nights and weekend work. Since the CSI program began in January 2007, PG&E has received over 5,000 applications, indicating a flourishing program and setting the bar for 2008.


2008 Interim Marketing and Outreach Plans Filed with the Commission 

On December 3rd, the California Solar Initiative PAs filed their 2008 Interim Marketing and Outreach (M&O) Plans with the CPUC. These plans cover outreach activities for the calendar year, and are “interim” in nature pending the consideration of long-term CSI marketing, education and outreach strategy in the CPUC rulemaking. The 2008 M&O plans feature downloadable fact sheets for use as sales tools, plans to develop a consumer’s guide to the California Solar Initiative, and web-based training media, including webinars and training videos on a range of topics. Suggestions for multimedia topics that could help the public and the installer community participate more fully in the California Solar Initiative are welcome—the public may submit their ideas to the next Public Forum by clicking the link below.
>> submit ideas for the next Public Forum


Where to Find Program Information (FAQs Online)

A plethora of information on the CSI can be found online. The primary portal is the Go Solar California! web site at http://cts.vresp.com/c/?CaliforniaPublicUtil/cb8b204d89/f72980e53d/97176902a5, a joint effort of the CEC and the CPUC. The site contains links to information regarding solar for new and existing homes, businesses, schools and public buildings.


Call for Photos of CSI-Funded Solar Systems

Calling all shutterbugs! The CSI program is looking for photos of solar systems installed under the CSI program. The program may use the photos in the next newsletter or other CSI-related publicity.

When submitting solar PV system photos, please provide the following: name of photographer; name of installer, seller, or system owner; system size and location; and full permission to use photo in CSI related publicity.
>> submit your photos (or preferably a link to online photos) to the CPUC newsletter team


Mark Your Calendar

CADER Conference
January 30- February 1, 2008
San Diego, CA

The California Alliance for Distributed Energy Resources (CADER) will hold its 2008 conference in San Diego Jan 30-Feb 1. This year’s theme is “Turning On Distributed Energy Resources” and will feature a headline address by State Senator Christine Kehoe as well as a diverse speaker lineup.
CADER Conference



CSI Public Forum
January 17, 2008
PG&E Auditorium
245 Market St.,
San Francisco, CA

Public stakeholders may discuss the administration and implementation of the CPUC's portion of the CSI program, and suggest consensus-based revisions to the CSI Program Handbook. Click here to suggest a topic you would like to have covered in the Forum.


Solar 2008
May 3-8, 2008
San Diego, CA

Catch the Clean Energy Wave! Come witness the growing movement towards renewable energy as a key component in climate recovery, a strong and healthy economy, and a secure energy future.
Solar 2008



Solar Power 2008
October 13-16, 2008
San Diego, CA

Heads-up: Booths are virtually sold out, so don’t wait to register your firm!
Solar Power 2008

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CCSE | PG&E | SCE | ©2007 California Solar Initiative

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The CSI program is funded by California investor-owned utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and the California Center for Sustainable Energy under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. The program began January 1, 2007 and runs for 10 years. Program is subject to change without notice.

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