There are many tax credit and rebate programs available to homeowners interested in a California residential solar power system for their home, but one of the most successful has been the California Solar Initiative (CSI), which was introduced in 2007 as a way to encourage the growth of solar energy in the Golden State. A recent report from the California Public Utilities Commission indicates that CSI has been enormously successful in achieving its mission, with the only question remaining about when the state legislature will extend the program so that more residents can take advantage of the great rebates it provides.

The CPUC’s report, released in June, states that the CSI has met 66 percent of its goal of adding 1,940 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity by 2016, with another 19 percent in the planning stages or under construction. To date, 1,629 MW have been installed as a result of CSI rebates.

However, once the funding for rebates dries up, homeowners hoping to add a residential PV system will have to wait for the California General Assembly to increase the budget for the program. Originally, it had been set at $2.167 billion. As more generating capacity was added, the rebate per kilowatt hour dropped from $2.50 to $0.20.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power also has a rebate program to encourage solar power, called CLEAN LA Solar, as the CSI only applies to customers of investor-owned utilities.

Homeowners need not wait for the program to be extended in order to take advantage of generous tax credits from both the state and federal governments. For more information on the financial benefits of going solar, contact the solar specialists at West Coast Solar.