California Center for Sustainable Energy | Pacific Gas & Electric Company | Southern California Edison
California Solar Initiative (CSI) Newsletter - August 2008

In This Issue

PG&E Files Advice Letter Proposing Revisions to CSI Program Handbook

Applications for Interconnection Expected to Escalate at Year End

California Utilities Lead the Nation in Solar

SCE Expands CSI Training

Solar Energy Awareness Month Showcases Hybrid Giveaway

Events In Your Area Celebrating The Sun

Trigger Tracker Snapshot for Aug. 20, 2008

PG&E Passes 5,000th Paid CSI Installation Milestone

2nd Annual Metering and Performance Monitoring Exposition Update

SCE’s New Solar Homes Program Applications Jump in 2nd Quarter

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 

Go Solar California Web site

CSI Handbook

August is Solar Energy Month in California, and you’re likely to see solar promotions everywhere from the State Fair to the shopping mall. This month’s feature photo comes from Scott Gordon in Laguna Niguel, CA, who just received his first electric bill since installing a 3.8-kW system in June 2007—$90 was all he paid for the entire year. Read on for important CSI Program updates and to find out how to submit photos of your solar installation.


PG&E Files Advice Letter Proposing Revisions to CSI Program Handbook

On Friday, Aug. 8, 2008, PG&E filed Advice 3315-E proposing a host of revisions to the CSI Program Handbook. Designed to simplify the program, the proposed revisions include standardized application fees, new notification formats, amendments to inspection requirements, changes in “strike” policy, removal of the “CEC Eligible Installer” listing requirement and modifications to warranty requirements. Comments are due Aug. 28, 2008.


Applications for Interconnection Expected to Escalate at Year End

The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provided tax credits for residents and businesses that installed solar energy systems, has not yet been renewed by Congress and is due to expire at the end of 2008. Much like CSI rebates, ITCs are a key factor in solar financing, and many customers and installers are pushing to get all viable projects fully installed by Dec. 31, 2008, in order to claim the federal tax credits. As such, the utilities expect a rush of interconnection applications between now and the end of the year. Since projects—especially those greater than 10kW—need to be reviewed against the existing utility service to the site and in some cases may require utility upgrades, CSI Program Administrators recommend submitting interconnection applications as soon as possible for any project expected to be complete by year's end.

>> click here
for information on the Federal Tax Credit

>> click here for PG&E's interconnection information
>> click here for SCE's interconnection information
>> click here for SDG&E's interconnection information


California Utilities Lead the Nation in Solar

SCE and PG&E are two of the top utilities in the nation with the most solar electricity integrated into their energy mix as of the end of 2007, according to a survey by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA).

For total solar electric capacity by megawatt, SCE took top honors as the most solar integrated utility with the most overall solar capacity and solar capacity per customer.

On the customer side of the meter, PG&E took the honors for both the largest amount of overall solar capacity and the highest MW per customer. On the utility side of the meter, SCE is the highest-ranked utility both for overall MW as well as MW per customer.

>> click here to view the full report, which includes the rankings.


SCE Expands CSI Training

In response to growing waiting lists for its monthly installer workshop, SCE recently added a second class each month and has begun a pilot program to offer the workshop via the Web.

These four-hour “Introduction to the California Solar Initiative” workshops focus on the technical aspects of the CSI program and are intended for installers, contractors and solar industry professionals.

Attendees will learn how to complete the CSI forms, take advantage of rebates on fixed and tracking PV systems and interconnect to the grid; other topics include metering, monitoring, shading issues and CSI’s online database.

>> click here for SCE’s Introduction to the California Solar Initiative workshop schedule.


Solar Energy Awareness Month Showcases Hybrid Giveaway

August is “Solar Energy Awareness Month,” and to celebrate the California Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) has launched the ”Go Solar California Sweepstakes.” From Aug. 15 through Oct. 31, 2008, Californians can visit the Go Solar California website at www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov to take a solar quiz and register to win the grand prize 2009 hybrid vehicle. The winner will be announced in November 2008. Visitors to the California State Fair can also enter the sweepstakes at kiosks located in the fair’s California Green Dream Expo.

>> click here to take the solar quiz and enter to win a hybrid!


Events In Your Area Celebrating The Sun

Los Angeles/Santa Monica
Aug. 26, 2008
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Sacramento
Aug.15-Aug. 31 10 a.m.-10 p.m. California State Fair California Bldg. Green Dream Exhibits 1600 Exposition Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95815 www.BigFun.org
Sacramento
Aug. 28, 2008
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cesar Chavez Park
Downtown Sacramento
J Street between 9th and 10th
For more information about any of these events, please contact the California Energy Commission's Media and Public Communications Office at: 916-654-4989.

Trigger Tracker Snapshot for Aug. 20, 2008

California Solar Initiative
TRIGGER TRACKER SNAPSHOT FOR
August 20, 2008
Administrator
Customer Class
Current Step
  Revised Total MW in Steps
MW Remaining
MW Under Review
Residential
4
18.70
11.07
2.60
Non-Res
5
62.53
36.86
2.94
SCE
Residential
3
15.26
12.06
1.10
Non-Res
5
58.21
49.85
1.23
Residential
3
3.42
1.24
0.14
Non-Res
4
9.93
5.10
4.95

The California Solar Initiative Trigger Tracker provides an indicator of when the CSI incentive levels are expected to drop by showing the reservation and review status of all incentive classes. This snapshot compares the megawatts remaining in each step with the megawatts under review, so that users can estimate how close the incentives are to declining. When there are more megawatts under review than remaining in the step, then it may be probable that any new applications will be at the next (i.e. LOWER) incentive step level.

>> click here
to view today’s Statewide Trigger Tracker.


PG&E Passes 5,000th Paid CSI Installation Milestone

PG&E's customers are rapidly increasing their adoption of solar. Since the CSI program's inception, 5,000 PG&E customers have received their solar incentive. This milestone, which underscores the widespread interest in solar, proactive PG&E customer base, and utility leadership, will be celebrated at PG&E’s 5,000th CSI customer's home, with local community and elected leadership involvement.


2nd Annual Metering and Performance Monitoring Exposition Update

The 2nd Annual Metering and Performance Monitoring Expo, held Aug. 5-6 and hosted by SEPA and PG&E, drew nearly 500 PMRS installers, vendors, manufacturers, utility and non-profit industry representatives from across the country. Unexpectedly high attendance at the two-day series of presentations, conversations and workshops—including a session on PV integration with Smart Meters—underscored the demand for continued metering and service monitoring expositions as the industry evolves. The Expo will be offered again next year, folded into DistribuTECH 2009, taking place from Feb. 3-5 at the San Diego Convention Center.


SCE’s New Solar Homes Program Applications Jump in 2nd Quarter

The total number of new homes for which builders have submitted New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) applications has more than tripled since SCE assumed the role of Program Administrator in mid-April.

“The interest level from builders and the number of calls I’ve received from installers has been remarkable,” said Gerry Castro, SCE’s NSHP program manager. “The number of homes speaks for itself, and we have many more in the pipeline.”

Since April, Castro has been working closely with SCE’s California New Homes Program (CANHP) to help promote energy efficiency in several developments, including Harmony at Center Stone in Fontana with 56 solar homes, and most recently, Woodside Sycamore in Temecula with 96 solar homes.

The California Energy Commission has now made the NSHP Web tool available so installers can apply online and track the application process.

>> click here
for more information about NSHP in SCE’s service territory.
>> click here for statewide information about NSHP and CSI.


Call for Photos of CSI-Funded Solar Systems

This month’s feature photo comes from Scott Gordon in Laguna Niguel, CA. His-3.8 kW AC system was installed by Helio Power, and consists of 27 Sharp 170 panels. Scott initially had a household load of 6 kW, but after spending $200 on CFL light bulbs and other simple energy efficiency measures, he reduced the size of the system he needed, saving thousands on solar panels. His first electric bill since installing his system dropped from an annual average of $1,800 (roughly $150 per month) to $90. Way to go solar!

The California Solar Initiative is seeking photos of solar systems installed under the CSI program for use in future newsletters or other CSI-related publicity. When submitting your 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.

>> click here to submit your CSI-funded solar system photos.



 

Workshops and Trainings

Southern California Edison Introduction to CSI Installer Training
Aug. 27, 2008
8 a.m.–12 p.m.
6090 Irwindale Ave.
Irwindale, CA 91702

To register, please call: (800) 336-2822, ext. 42537.

>> click here for maps and directions.


PG&E Monthly Installer Workshop
Sept. 5, 2008
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Pacific Energy Center
851 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

>> click here for maps and directions.

>> click here to register.


PG&E Solar Power Basics for Residential Customers
Sept. 13, 2008
10 a.m.–12 p.m.
Pacific Energy Center
851 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

>> click here for maps and directions.

>> click here to register.


CCSE Solar Shade Workshop
Aug. 21, 2008
1:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
8690 Balboa Ave., Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123

>> click here
for directions.

>> click here to register.


CCSE Solar Water Heating Basics for Homeowners
Aug. 21, 2008
6 p.m.–8 p.m.
8690 Balboa Ave., Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123

>> click here
for directions.

>> click here to register.


CCSE Monthly Solar for Homeowners Workshop
Aug. 28, 2008
11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
8690 Balboa Ave., Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123

>> click here
for directions.

>> click here to register.


California Public Utilities Commission
Public Workshop Notice – Solar Water Heating Pilot Program:
Evaluation Priorities
Aug. 26, 2008
1 p.m.–5 p.m.
505 Van Ness Ave. Courtyard Room (Corner of Van Ness Ave. and McAllister St.)
As per Commission Decision 08-06-029, the purpose of this workshop is to discuss issues related to the evaluation of the Solar Water Heating Pilot Program. Commission staff will lead a discussion of these issues.

>> click here
for workshop agenda and teleconference information.


Special Events

Solar Power 2008

October 13-16, 2008
San Diego, CA

>> Solar Power 2008


CCSE Family Solar Day
Oct. 12, 2008
Spanish Landing Park
San Diego, CA 92101

>> click here to register.


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CCSE | PG&E | SCE | ©2008 California Solar Initiative

 




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.

California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, California 94102
US