Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) offers non-residential customers incentive programs to encourage energy efficiency. More information about the incentive amounts and equipment requirements can be found at the program web site.
SoCalGas offers an incentive for home builders to build homes which exceed 2008 Title 24 standards by 15%. The program is open to all single-family and multi-family new construction projects. A performance based approach is designed to encourage builders to construct single-family and multi-family dwellings that use at least 15% less energy than Title 24 standards. The incentive payments are based on the final 2008 T-24 reports created and signed by a Certified Energy Plans Examiners (CEPE) and verified by a third party HERS Rater.
Silicon Valley Power (SVP) offers incentives for the installation of new grid-connected solar electric (photovoltaic, or PV) systems. Incentive levels will step down over the life of the program as certain installed capacity goals are met. As of September 2012, residential SVP customers are eligible for a rebate of $2.00 per watt AC up to $20,000 (10 kilowatts). Commercial SVP customers are eligible for a rebate of $1.10 per watt AC for systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW).
Initiated in 2001, the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) offers incentives to customers who produce electricity with wind turbines, fuel cells, various forms of combined heat and power (CHP) and advanced energy storage. For 2013, the incentive payments range from $0.48/W - $2.03/W depending on the type of system. Retail electric and gas customers of San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) or Southern California Gas (SoCal Gas) are eligible for the SGIP.
Note: California voters approved [Note: California voters approved Ballot Proposition 39 in November 2012. The new law closes a tax loophole, which is expected to provide $1 billion in additional revenue every year. According to the law, half of the new funding collected in the first five years must be used for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at schools and public facilities, workforce development, and providing assitance to local governments in establishing and implementing PACE programs.
In conjunction with the California Department of Public Utilities, Savings by Design offers services and incentives to help owners and designers of commercial buildings raise energy performance. Qualified non-residential new construction and renovation projects in the service area of one of the five participating utilities are eligible to participate. The five participating utilities are Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and Southern California Gas Company.
Although the California Solar Rights Act of 1978 requires local governments to plan for future passive or natural heating or cooling opportunities in new residential construction, and the California Shade Control Act protects solar systems from shading by vegetation, current state and local laws do not protect installed solar energy systems from shading caused by structures. The County of Santa Cruz has developed a process for registering solar energy systems to provide additional protection to solar energy system owners.
In 1975, the City of Santa Clara established the nation's first municipal solar utility. Under the Solar Water Heating Program, the Santa Clara Water and Sewer Utilities Department supplies, installs and maintains solar water heating systems for residents and businesses. In addition, the city has also installed solar energy equipment for a number of its own facilities.