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CEC - New Solar Homes Partnership

Eligibility 
Construction
Low-Income Residential
Multi-Family Residential
Residential
Savings Category 
Photovoltaics
Program Info
State 
California
Program Type 
State Rebate Program
Rebate Amount 

Varies by customer class and system performance (see below)

Provider 
California Energy Commission

In January 2006, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a program – the California Solar Initiative (CSI) – to provide more than $3 billion in incentives for solar projects with the objective of achieving participation levels accounting for 3,000 MW of solar capacity by 2017. Senate Bill 1 was signed by the Governor in August 2006, expanding the CSI to include publicly-owned utilities with a total ratepayer-funded budget of $3.5 billion.

Aside from the solar programs administered by the publicly-owned utilities, two programs serve the investor-owned electric service territories. [http://www.dsireusa.org/library/includes/incentive2.cfm?Incentive_Code=C... One is overseen by the CPUC], which provides incentives for existing residential homes and existing and new commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties. The other program, the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP), is administered by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and provides incentives for solar on new home construction. To be eligible for the NSHP incentive, the home must receive electricity from one of the following investor-owned utilities: Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and Bear Valley Electric Service.

Launched on January 2, 2007, the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) is a 10-year, $400 million program to encourage solar in new homes by working with builders and developers to incorporate into the homes high levels of energy efficiency and high-performing solar systems. The NSHP specifically targets the market-rate and affordable housing single-family and multifamily sectors, with the goal of achieving 400 MW of installed solar electric capacity on new homes, and to have solar electric systems on 50% of all new homes built in California by the end of 2016.

Incentives are determined by the housing type and the expected performance of the system, which depends on factors like equipment efficiency, geographic location, orientation, tilt, shading, and time-dependent valuation. These factors are then compared to a reference system in San Jose, California. To qualify for incentives, the residential dwelling unit must be achieve at least 15% higher energy efficiency than the current Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (please refer to the New Solar Homes Partnership Guidebook for specific details and program requirements). The incentive is paid once the system is installed, operational, and has met all program requirements.

There are four incentive levels available:

'''''Tier I Incentive:''''' Expected Performance Based Incentive (EPBI) level as of July 23, 2013 is $1.50/watt. This applies to projects that have an energy efficiency compliance margin of at least 15 percent better than the Building Energy Efficiency Standards as specified in Chapter II, Section B.

'''''Tier II Incentive:''''' The EPBI level as of July 23, 2013 is $1.75/watt. This applies to projects that have an energy efficiency compliance margin of at least 30 percent better than the Building Energy Efficiency Standards and a space-cooling compliance margin of at least 30 percent better than the Building Energy Efficiency Standards as specified in Chapter II, Section B.

'''''Residential Areas of Affordable Housing Projects:''''' The EPBI amount as of July 23, 2013 is $2.20/watt. This applies to affordable housing projects of all sizes.

'''''Common Areas of Affordable Housing Projects:''''' There is currently no incenitve for solar electric systems serving the common areas of affordable housing projects.

All incentives will decline over time as specific megawatt targets are achieved. Refer to the NSHP Guidebook and contact the program administrator for complete details.

Other Information 

Must use CEC-certified [http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/equipment/pv_modules.php PV modules] and [http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/equipment/inverters.php inverters].
Systems must be grid-connected.
Inverters and modules must each carry a 10-year warranty.
PV modules must be certified to UL 1703 by a nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL)
Inverters must be certified to UL 1741 by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). They also must have completed the Energy Commission's required weighted efficiency testing.