The California Public Utilities Commission has approved monies to help pay for solar batteries in homes where at least one resident is qualified for assistance because they need electricity for medical reasons AND the residence is located in a high fire risk zone defined as a Tier 2 or Tier 3 location OR any location which experienced at least 2 outages in 2019. All of Oakmont’s homes qualify. Rental property qualifies if the renter has the medical need and the PG&E bill is in the renter’s name.
This program is administered by PG&E. Go to www.selfgenca.com and scroll down to download the 2020 SGIP Handbook which describes this process in some detail. Warning: this handbook is fairly technical and not designed to help consumers.
The battery program involves 5 steps.
First, you must prove you are qualified for medical assistance. If you are already on the Medical Baseline program with PG&E then you have already completed this step and do not need to do anything additional.
Second, you need to contact a qualified solar installer and complete an agreement to install the battery. This usually involves both solar panels and a battery, but it is possible to only install the battery. Your installer should be able to help you understand this process. You should come to an agreement with the installer regarding how payment will be made, including allocation for the tax credit and who will receive the battery payment. Payment for the battery is $1,000/kwh of capacity installed up to 10 kwh. These applications will be accepted beginning March 16.
Third, the installer and you will work together to complete a Reservation Request Form (RRF). This includes what is called Proof of Project Milestones. When PG&E accepts this application, you will receive a Confirmed Reservation Letter which guarantees money has been put aside for payment. As of March 16, there will be $44,000,000 in this program, which will increase to $270,000,000 about April 15.
Fourth, the installer proceeds with the installation.
Fifth, when the installation is complete, the installer submits an Incentive Claim Form along with related documentation, and the payment is then made.
How do I find information on solar installers?
The Oakmont Residential Solar Project has information on solar installation for Oakmont. Their information page is available at www.oakmontvillage.com/orsp. The Architectural Committee office at the OVA has a list of solar vendors.
Can a renter qualify for the SGIP Program?
Yes, renters qualify. The renter has to be eligible for the Medical Baseline program and the PG&E service has to be in the name of the renter. The owner has to agree to the installation of the battery. The battery belongs to the renter unless there’s a different agreement with the owner. If the renter and the owner agree, the owner may also want to install solar panels.
How do I qualify for the Medical Baseline program at PG&E?
This involves filling out a form describing the medical equipment you have. This form must be signed by your doctor. Qualifications and the application can be found here:
I currently have the EV-A or EV-2A rate from PG&E. Is this a problem?
It turns out that you cannot be on the Medical Baseline rate if you are on the EV-A or EV-2A rate. PG&E has recommended you apply for TOU-C when you apply for the SGIP program. They have applied to the CPUC for permission to fix this problem and expect the EV rate schedule will be available for Medical Baseline customers in a few months.
Can I get SGIP funds for a battery if I don’t have solar panels?
Yes. The details of this are not clear, but it would appear that you can charge the battery from the grid and have it available if there is a power outage.
I live in a triplex, can I get a battery if I am qualified?
Yes, if there is a place where it can be located properly.
Where can I find the Reservation Request Form?
Sonoma Clean Power Customers
If you’re a Sonoma Clean Power customer, they will be offering additional assistance in filing for SGIP funds. If you want their help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.