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California Solar Initiative Rebate Program Winds Down

Rebates for commercial and residential rooftop solar are running out in California | Photo: Walmart Stores/Flickr/Creative Commons License

According to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Solar Initiative (CSI) has officially run out of rebate funding in much of the state, a tribute to the interest in going solar among California utility customers. Funded in January 2007 to the tune of $2.167 billion, the CSI offered rebates to customers of California investor-owned utilities who installed solar panels on their property.

The CPUC announcement came in the form of a tweet, posted Monday, February 25:

California Solar Initiative a success! Residential #solar rebates are fully committed in PG&E and SDG&E area (waitlist available).

— California PUC (@californiapuc) February 25, 2013

That still leaves some rebate funding available for customers of Southern California Edison.

The looming end of CSI rebates for property owners hasn't gone unnoticed in PG&E territory. Customers of that utility have told ReWire that sales calls from solar leasing firms have spiked in recent weeks, as those firms are anxious to squeeze as much from the rebate program as they can.

Established in January 2007, the CSI had as its goal the building of 1,750 megawatts of rooftop and other decentralized solar by 2016. When it finally spends down its rebates for SCE customers, CIS's General Market Program will have plowed $1.95 billion into helping property owners solarize their buildings. The remainder of the initiative's budget has gone into programs such as research and development grants.

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