california sgip

California home battery rebate: Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) explained

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(Update: California’s Governor Brown signed SB 700. This adds approximately $800 million in additional funding for SGIP and extends the program through 2025.)

California’s SGIP rebate is one of the best incentives in the country for homeowners who want to install a home battery with their solar panels. The Golden State already leads the country in solar energy – it has more solar capacity than any other state in the U.S., and nearly six times more solar than number-two state Arizona. Now, California is becoming a leader in energy storage. Thanks to the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) you can get a rebate for most or all of your solar battery installation in California, and it’s about to become a lot easier for homeowners to access. Here’s everything you need to know about the SGIP rebate.

Find out what solar + storage costs in your area in 2021

Key points about the SGIP program

  • SGIP is a battery storage incentive available only in California
  • You can save thousands of dollars on a battery installation through the program
  • Compare quotes on the EnergySage Marketplace to see your total savings on solar + storage

SGIP evolution- what does SGIP look like in 2021?

Equity Resiliency Budget

California’s Governor Brown signed SB 700 – this added approximately $800 million in additional funding for SGIP and extended the program through 2025, most of which is being allocated to the Equity Resiliency Budget. This extension of funding covers more solar projects across the state thanks to more inclusive eligibility requirements. These include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Customers that have notified their utility of serious illness or condition that could become life-threatening if electricity is disconnected
  • Customers categorized as “low income” 
  • Customers residing in a Tier 3 or 4 fire risk zone

You can check out the full Equity Resiliency Budget document for more details on SGIP eligibility. 

California SGIP rebate program can help you save

The California energy storage rebate program, technically referred to as the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), was established back in 2001. SGIP supports a variety of “behind the meter” technologies that are installed at your home or business, including energy storage, fuel cells, and combined heat and power generators.

Until recently, the process for applying to get a home battery rebate through SGIP was difficult, particularly for residential customers. All of the program funds became available on a specific day, and the vast majority were taken very quickly by industrial-sized energy storage projects, leaving nothing left for homeowners interested in small home batteries.

Luckily for homeowners with energy storage in California, the program has made changes to promote major incentives for CA home batteries.

First, and most importantly, homeowners who are customers of either PG&E, SCE, SCG, or SDG&E will be eligible for an incentive as high as $200 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) when you install a home battery. That’s enough to cover the majority of your battery costs. The value of the per-kWh incentive depends on the size of the battery you purchase and will be reduced as more batteries are installed in the Golden State, so it pays to be an “early adopter” of home batteries. You can check the current value of the incentive at the SGIP Program Metrics dashboard.

How much could you save on a Tesla Powerwall with SGIP?

The second-generation Tesla Powerwall has a 13.5 kWh capacity. Under SGIP step 6, you’re eligible for an incentive rate of $200/kWh incentive, worth a total of $2,700. That’s enough to cover a significant portion of the cost of purchasing the Powerwall equipment, which is priced at $6,700. (Note that this incentive value changes as more energy storage projects are installed in California. You can check the current value of the incentive at the SGIP Program Metrics dashboard.)

There are additional costs associated with installing a Powerwall, including other hardware, shipping, installation, and taxes. Tesla estimates that supporting hardware will cost $1,100, and installation will range from $800 to $2,000. However, their estimates do not include electrical upgrades (if necessary), taxes, permit fees, or any retailer/connection charges that may apply. These can add another $3,000-$4,000 to installed costs, depending on the characteristics of your personal installation. In most cases, the Powerwall is also eligible for the federal investment tax credit (ITC), which reduces prices by a further 26 percent. In all, when you combine the SGIP incentive and federal ITC, you can expect to reduce your costs by more than half.

Tesla Powerwall savings through SGIP

ComponentEstimated Cost
Powerwall battery$6,700
Installation cost$2,000 to $4,000
Shipping, components and fees$3,000 to $4,000
SGIP value-$2,700
ITC value-$3,040 to -$3,820
Total cost (approximate)$5,960 to $8,180

Additional benefits of the overhauled SGIP program

75 percent of the program’s funds (equal to more than $62 million annually) will be marked specifically for energy storage. This is a departure from past years when more of the funds were used for fuel cells and other forms of energy production. Fifteen percent of the funds will also be marked specifically for residential applications to ensure that homeowners who want to install batteries with their solar panels can afford to do so.

sgip program funds distribution chart

Finally, instead of being released all at once, funds will be available throughout the entire year. A continuous program is more in line with how most other incentive programs are structured, particularly for solar power. This way, your solar-plus-storage installer can tell you exactly how much of a rebate is available to you before you install your system.

Why get a California home battery rebate?

Home energy storage offers many benefits, particularly if you have a solar panel system on your roof. In essence, installing a home battery allows you to store your excess solar power at home instead of feeding it back into the grid.

Feeding your excess power into the electric grid is an easy way to balance out your daily electricity production and use. Under California’s original net metering policy, homeowners receive bill credits equal to the price they pay for electricity for every kWh of extra solar power they send back onto the grid. However, the state is implementing a few changes to net metering that will make a battery more valuable for homeowners.

In early 2016, California approved net metering 2.0, which will eventually require all new solar homeowners to switch to time-of-use (TOU) rates. In summer 2016, San Diego Gas & Electric became the first CA utility to start implementing net metering 2.0. If you have TOU rates for your electricity, the cost of one kWh (and the value of every kWh you send back to the grid) will vary depending on the time of day. By installing a home battery with your solar panel system, you can store your excess solar power at home when utility rates are low and use it when rates are highest.

When you install a home battery, you also have the benefit of some backup power in the event that the electric grid goes down. However, most batteries for home use are designed to store a few hours of electricity, so they won’t run your home at full power for multiple days.

How to get the best price on solar-plus-storage in CA 

California’s incentives for home energy storage are yet another indicator of the Golden State’s leadership in sustainability. With SGIP, homeowners in CA can install a battery as part of their home solar system with little to no additional cost. When you combine your SGIP savings with the 26 percent federal investment tax credit (ITC), you could potentially cut your solar-plus-storage costs in half.

The first step to finding the right price for your solar investment is to understand the market in your area. You can use EnergySage’s Solar Data Explorer for California to get a sense of what homeowners in your area are paying for their systems, how much their solar panels are saving them, and how long it takes for them to break even on their solar investments.

If you’re ready to start exploring your solar options, join the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. You can access qualified, pre-vetted solar installers local to you, compare multiple solar offers, and find the best deal for your home. To get quotes for solar-plus-storage systems, simply indicate during the registration process that you want installation offers that include battery storage.

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Find out what solar + storage costs in your area in 2021

78 thoughts on “California home battery rebate: Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) explained

  1. Mick Lockhart

    Is there is out of cost we just had a roof mount install now I got confirmed for 26,400 for the SIGP program :: is there any out of cost to me thur a solar co . To have batteries installed::: They want me to take a lone out for batteries and when I get the rebate check to pay the load off ::

  2. B. Perez

    This is not my experience with my Powerwall 2.0., and after looking at the LG (and having had the worst luck with LG appliances), which is not as versatile (and they both cost the same – as quoted to me by 3 different contractors), and the Powerwall has more storage capacity (13.5 kwh, as opposed to the LG with 10). Also, the LG has a max capacity of two batteries, if you want to install two, but you can install up to 10 Powerwalls in your home – I don’t know who would need to do that, but the capability is there). With the Powerwall, I can charge the battery from the grid at hours when energy is cheaper (after 9:00pm), if I choose to, or I can charge the battery directly from my solar panels, if I choose to. I also love how the Powerwall knows weather forecasts and can suggest having a full battery in case of possible electrical outages, such as if a big storm, or winds, or fires may cause rolling back outs. In these cases, the Powerwall will be sure to let you know that it’s best that it is at 100% capacity, so that I will have the basics (fridge, internet, lights) covered during a blackout.

    1. Wayne

      I understand that in a Tesla solar+battery setup in California you can’t charge the routinely battery from the grid: it only charges from solar. This isn’t a *technical* limit, it is a policy, probably in response to needing to qualify for the SGIP. When a Storm Watch is declared *then* Tesla turns on battery charge-from-grid capability, through the remote connection to your Powerwall(s).

      1. Barry Fitzgerald

        I do not have solar yet, that is coming but not from Tesla. I use my batteries in TU shifting mode which charges from the grid at night and then from 3PM I use the batteries to power my home. I am not getting Tesla solar but their gateway allows solar to charge.

  3. gayle

    So if I opt out of the doing the SGIP program can I get my $100 back that I gave Tesla to apply? I do not have solar panels, would this matter? Tesla told me I can store additional electric power in case of emergency. I thought installation was FREE, now I am finding that it is a portion, is that correct? thanks!

    1. Michael Selevitch

      Tesla battery is good battery, however, they control the usage.
      Sonnen doesn’t restrict when and how you use the battery, I’ve had both, I won’t go back to Tesla ( and we have a model X that we absolutely love)
      If I choose, I can off load my battery to the grid at peak times and get credit for the power I either generated from solar or ( Unlike Tesla) I can charge my battery from the grid.

  4. Alan Tobey

    You seem to be equating a California REBATE IN CASH with a federal TAX CREDIT. For most homeowners the tax credit would be more valuable dollar-for dollar, so that simply adding the two to get “savings” is not fully accurate.

  5. Wayne Pendrey

    Is there a reason that this article only mentions the Tesla type batteries? There are much safer battery chemistries available from multiple companies that are not prone to thermal runaway as the Tesla batteries are. Looking to see how SGIP applies to better quality batteries

    1. Jason Jordan

      Hi Wayne, thank you for your comment regarding “Tesla type batteries”. I don’t know much about batteries, however, I am very interested in getting one to work with my recently installed solar panels. What brand would you recommend I look into that would perform better long term?

      Thank you,


      1. Kevin

        What you would want to look for is the chemistry. Avoid Li-Ion batteries (sometimes also called NMC), those are the ones most prone to thermal runaway. Unfortunately, that is the majority of the market right now, including Tesla, but also many others.

        LFP (also sometimes called Iron Phosphate, LiFePo, or various other names) is much safer in terms of fire hazard. You could also go with old-fashioned Lead batteries, although they seem to be hard to find nowadays. I’ve also seen NiCad in grid-storage applications, not sure if that’s available for home storage. Other chemistries are Saltwater (unfortunately, the only manufacturer seems to have gone out of business), and more.

        Also, if you do go with Li-Ion, after all, you will want to make sure to get a system with newly manufactured cells, since they have a limited life time, usually around 10 years for Li-Ion. Some manufacturers have started building home storage system from end-of-life cells from electric vehicles. You can usually identify them by the short warranty period.

  6. Jim Sligh

    I am tied to a community supplier of energy, who purchases and produces energy for sale to Ukiah residents. It appears that the SGIP program does not apply here.


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