California Senate passes bill for residential energy storage incentives

AUTHOR: Peter Maloney

PUBLISHED: June 5, 2017


Dive Brief:

  • The California Senate has passed a bill, SB 700, that would provide about $1.4 billion in rebates for residential energy storage.
  • The bill, written by Sen. Scott Wiener (D), now goes to the Assembly for consideration and, if passed would create an Energy Storage Initiative that would run through 2017.
  • The rebate would be funded by fees charged to customers by electric utilities and the California Public Utilities Commission would determine the level of funding.

Dive Insight:

The California Solar Initiative (CSI) is considered a success for having resulted in 1,750 MW of solar installations by the time the program ran through its budget in 2016.

Wiener’s bill could be seen as a storage version of the CSI. It would also be an alternative to the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which includes a portion of funding for residential storage.

The SGIP funding would be reduced by the amount of funding authorized by the Energy Storage Initiative and funneled to the new program.

“This bill will push us down the path to 100% renewable energy,” Wiener said in a statement. “To meet our goals, we need solar, storage and other renewable energy resources in every city and neighborhood in California, not just for those that can afford it.”

The California Senate also passed a bill that would speed up the state’s 50% by 2030 renewable portfolio standard by four years and set the stage for a 100% renewable energy target by 2045.

The Senate also passed SB 71, sponsored by Wiener, which would require rooftop solar installations on most new buildings in the state. A similar program, also pushed by Weiner, is already in place in San Francisco