SoCal Edison and PG&E customers in high fire zones have access to an incentive program to install large batteries to store electricity. The program, which can be used in combination with solar panels, provides a $2,640 incentive — which is 20 percent of the $13,500 cost of battery installations, according to the Public Utilities Commission — to customers not only in high fire areas but also those who experienced at least two Public Safety Power Shutoffs last year. Various “resiliency” criteria can boost the incentive to 100 and 85 percent of battery costs.
Funds for the program, which lasts through 2025, comes from $166 million in ratepayer collections for a program called the Self-Generation Incentive Program, mandated by Senate Bill 700. Residential storage of power amounts to 7 percent of the program, with the lion’s share going to an equity resiliency budget, solar arrays, heat-pump water heaters, and renewable generation technologies.
The battery storage program is also available to those in the Medical Baseline programs at the electricity companies, others who meet income requirements, and customers like fire stations, food banks, and homeless shelters in areas of high fire risk.