Home Battery Incentives in SDG&E: 2021

sdge battery incentives 2021

Have you noticed that your SDG&E has been rising? Most people have taken note of rising energy prices because they’re an indisputable factor that San Diego homeowners need to deal with. San Diego County is one of the most expensive counties in the United States when it comes to electricity prices. 

In fact, SDG&E is increasing electricity rates in 2021 due to a hot 2020. On top of this southern California is facing record heat in the latter half of 2021. The average SDG&E residential rate has increased from 27 cents per kilowatt hour to 31 cents per kWh. 

Even if you reduce your home energy use, it’s now a fact of life that SDG&E will considerably increase rates each year. This is why every San Diego homeowner should consider installing a solar system and home battery. This can (potentially) eliminate your monthly SDG&E energy bills while admittedly lowering your carbon footprint. 

Purchasing solar panels and a home battery system can save thousands of dollars in the short-term and long-term. 

There is an option to go solar for any homeowner: you can purchase with a loan or via cash upfront. Both options give you access to the 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit and the Self-Generation Incentive Program or (SGIP).

What are these?

The 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit means that you get a federal tax credit up to 26% of the value of your solar installation. This means if you purchase (for example) a $20,000 solar system you can get a tax credit of $5,200 (which is 26% of $20,000). Not a bad amount of money.

Additionally, the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) provides financial incentives to homeowners for the installation of approved technologies such as renewable energy generation and storage systems. It was initially started in 2001 as a response to the energy crisis to reduce peak-load. It has evolved to focus on energy storage projects such as home battery systems. 

SGIP is available for both large storage commercial projects and small residential storage projects. Incentives for SGIP eligible systems are calculated as the potential capacity of the installed system with (kW) for generation projects, and (kWh) for battery or energy storage projects. 

To calculate your potential incentive amount, multiply the capacity of the potential system by the incentive rate for the category that system is under. Check out the SGIP website for the full list of incentives per watt-hour (wh).


Most San Diego County homeowners who apply for SGIP incentives apply through their installer. Installers such as Stellar Solar will have a process in place to streamline your solar and home battery system installation. We take care of the paperwork and liaise with the SGIP and SDG&E to get the maximum incentive possible. 

Our process for applying for SGIP incentives is straightforward: we apply for permits, coordinate your documentation, submit documents with a 3rd-party processor, create a contract, and other factors. We deal with regulations and the paperwork so our customers don’t need to deal with factors such as the CISR form, electrical load documentation, and the energy audit. 

Once everything is complete on the processor’s end, they send us an application that all parties sign. Once the application is signed, we return it with an audit report. The application is then submitted and the homeowner is put on a waitlist until SGIP funds become available. 

We’re here to help with the application process – it can be overwhelming for many homeowners and our system is streamlined to make it as painless as possible.

Solar System + Home Battery + Electric Vehicle = Trinity of Energy Savings

Imagine eliminating your electric bills and never paying for gasoline again. It’s almost too good to be possible, right? Especially in a region with high gas & electricity costs. 

It’s entirely possible and now is the perfect time to achieve the dream. With the 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit and SGIP incentives – going green is a fantastic financial decision.

Did we mention that California has superb electric vehicle incentives and rebates? Folks who purchase electric vehicles (EVs) can take advantage of the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) which promotes clean vehicle adoption with rebates for California residents.

Rebates vary: fuel-cell vehicles can receive a $4,500 rebate, battery electric vehicles can receive a $2,000 rebate, hybrid vehicles can receive $1,000, and zero-emission motorcycles can receive $750. 

You can also take advantage of the California Clean Fuel Reward. This is a rebate for California residents who purchase or lease eligible new Battery Electric (BEV) or Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) vehicles at participating automotive retailers. You can receive up to $1,500.

Solar System and Home Battery: In Action

Check out this example of how a solar installation and battery storage can complement each other to eliminate high SDG&E rates – check out this graph from September 2020. It’s the monitoring system for the home solar system of Michael Powers, co-founder of Stellar Solar:

  • On September 1, you can see above that Michael’s usage of power from the grid was limited to 9:00pm to 9:00am in the morning. Thus, he only pulled power when most households were starting to use less. This decreased his home’s demand and shifted it until later, after the peak.

  • As a result, Michael currently saves money by not consuming SDG&E grid power during on-peak hours (the most expensive time period). It’s a win-win situation: Michael now saves large amounts of money on his electric bills while lessening the load on SDG&E’s grid.


Save Now with Incentives, Save Later with Lower Bills

In a nutshell, there are fantastic incentives for Californians who want to purchase a solar system, home battery, or electric vehicle. People who purchase one or all of the above will save serious long-term money. 

It is possible to reach “Zero Net Energy” – it’s a concept that energy pioneer and Stellar Solar customer Peder Norby puts into practice by powering his entire life using only the power of the sun. Peder had his solar installed by Stellar Solar and has since eliminated all his power and gas bills with a solar system, battery, and electric vehicles. 

Peder Norby fully recovered the cost of his $29,750 solar installation in less than five years. In addition, his family saves over $750 each month in gasoline and electricity savings. They have saved roughly a quarter of a million dollars since 2012 when their solar system paid for itself. 

This amount will likely increase to the million dollar range over the life of their solar system and EV vehicles. 

Does the concept of achieving ‘Zero Net Energy’ sound appealing to you? It’s a pretty cool concept – and you don’t necessarily need an electric vehicle to make it happen. Let’s make a quick recap of the incentives available:

  • 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit: This means you can get a tax credit of up to 26% of the cost of your solar system. Take advantage of it while you can in 2021 and 2022 by the latest.

  • California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP): This promotes clean vehicle adoption with rebates for California residents (up to $4,500).

  • California Clean Fuel Reward: Rebate for California residents who purchase or lease eligible new Battery Electric (BEV) or Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) vehicles (up to $1,500).

  • Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP): Financial incentives to homeowners for the installation of renewable energy generation and storage systems. Full list of incentives here.


If you want to buy an electric vehicle, keep in mind that Stellar Solar installs both electric car chargers and solar panels to go along with your purchase. We have a great track-record having been voted best solar company in San Diego 8 out of the last 10 years and having over 400+ 5-star reviews.

Want to learn more? Contact one of our Energy Consultants to learn more. They can guide you through the process and help you plan your energy independence. It’s an amazing time to go green: for your finances, the climate, and to even help SDG&E meet demand!