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Powerwall 2: SGIP/Incentives

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by avesraggiana, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. avesraggiana

    avesraggiana Member

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    For California residents, SGIP (Self-Generation Incentive Programme) is accepting 2017 applications starting in May. If you’re willing to run through the bureaucratic gauntlet, and it’s an extremely daunting, mind bending one, you could be awarded a rebate that almost covers the cost of the PowerWall. The catch is that you have to prove that your energy storage system not only backs up, but cycles. There has to be some benefit to the power company for them to issue you the rebate. Further, if there are more applications for the rebates than there is funding available, the power company can resort to using a lottery system. So, be prepared to fund the entire cost of your energy storage system anyway.

    Why did I get off on this tangent? Oh, yeah. Is anyone else looking into SGIP, and how likely is it that something like a PowerWall would pass muster and be eligible for a rebate?
     
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  2. Brovane

    Brovane Member

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    I have been poking around at the SGIP program. I talked to a company in December of last year (SwellEnergy) and I have a 2xTesla Powerwalls2 reserved with them and a quote for installation etc. They will handle all the paperwork with the SGIP program and file everything when the program opens. I don't have to commit to installation until they confirm what my rebate will be. I am not getting my hopes up to much but if I can get a rebate from the program I should be albe to get a system fairly cheap. I figured why not and give it a try.

    I tried calling Tesla/Solar City and tried to talk to them about the SGIP program and of course, they were clueless. So I started looking further afield and that is when I came across SwellEnergy.
     
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  3. avesraggiana

    avesraggiana Member

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    What a great, great tip! Thanks so very much. I'm going to look up SwellEnergy online.

    I'm not surprised that Tesla/Solar City knew absolutely nothing, post-merger/takeover, the whole enterprise seems to be in shambles.

    Why are you not hopeful?
     
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  4. Brovane

    Brovane Member

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    To me, it seems to good to be true. Considering that potentially I could get two power walls installed at my house with only having to pay $4k after the discounts. I might be too negative about the entire thing. Hopefully, it all works out. It would be awesome if it does.
     
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  5. avesraggiana

    avesraggiana Member

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    Their website asks for a $250 installation deposit. Did you pay it, and do you know if it’s refundable?

    Oh, disregard the second question. Deposit is fully refundable if you cancel within 30 days.
     
  6. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    Due to financial flow cycles and heavy tax, I'd be interested in getting some tax money back in such a program. If someone publishes a how-to, I'd like to try.
     
  7. Brovane

    Brovane Member

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    I have a deposit with them($350). This deposit is refundable if they cannot secure any SGIP funds for me.
     
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  8. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Based on the information here, I also contacted Swell Energy. I did not put my reservation directly on the web site, instead I just closed the browser window before entering the credit card information. A very well informed rep called me this morning and explained the system and program to me. I put down $500 toward one PowerWall which is contingent on being approved for the SGIP rebate of about $3,900. They will not install until the SGIP rebate is confirmed for my specific installation. If they cannot meet the cost quoted or get the rebate on my behalf, the deposit is refundable. If they are able to deliver at the price quoted and I decide not to go ahead, the deposit is not refundable after 30 days. IMHO, this is a good time to get in the queue because they should know the outcome of these SGIP applications by the middle of May. That also coincides with Tesla's ability to deliver the PowerWall hardware.

    The other interesting thing that the rep told me is that they install with an automatic transfer switch that cuts over fast enough that you will not have to reset clocks and computers should not reboot during the changeover. I specifically asked about this point and that is the answer he gave.
     
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  9. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    Are all Californians eligible for the $3900 rebate? What is the expiration date for it??

    What is the install cost?
     
  10. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    See the SGIP web site. It says that SCE, PG&E, SDG&E, and SoCal Gas customers that take electricity from a non-SCE entity are eligible. It is expected that the SGIP will be oversubscribed before it even opens on May 1st. The portal to submit preliminary applications opens April 10. Luckily, a percentage of the total SGIP funding is reserved for residential projects under 10kW. Otherwise, we would be washed out by large scale projects.

    Sorry, I wrote the wrong rebate amount. Swell Energy is quoting an expected SGIP rebate of $4,935 on my quote. However, the SGIP site says that the rebate should be $0.50/Watt-hour for systems less than 10kW and $0.36/Wh for systems over 10kW and use the ITC. So, it's not clear to me where my quoted figure actually comes from.

    I don't want to put the exact figure from my Swell Energy quote here, but let's just say that they put in a lot of buffer for installation, permitting and extra hardware like the transfer switch that is not included in any Tesla promotional material. I actually think the total is a little high, but they said they will update the quote after the SGIP is approved and they do a site survey of my house. So, the figure is intentionally high. Even with the high total cost, after SGIP and ITC, it will be easy for me to pay off the system by reducing payments to PG&E. I currently owe about $1,000 per year at my annual true-up. I will confirm with actual analysis, but I'm pretty sure this can be wiped out with arbitrage by eliminating my household usage during the peak period. The backup power aspect is gravy.
     
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  11. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    #11 miimura, Mar 20, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    Okay, here's another gotcha that I think I just figured out. Swell Energy cited the size of my existing solar system on my quote and indicated that the battery would be eligible for the 30% Investment Tax Credit. The rep also told me that the battery would charge in the morning from solar production. I asked about this and was not really satisfied with the answer because it would technically be cheaper to charge the PowerWall from Off-Peak grid energy on the PG&E EV rate plan. Well, it turns out there is a good reason for that strategy. The ITC requires that the batteries be charged more than 75% from solar energy. If the battery is purely charged from the grid and arbitraged, it is not eligible for the ITC.

    I will have to figure out how to accurately model this in order to do my analysis. I think I will have to figure out how to extract interval data from Enphase Enlighten in order to do it with any accuracy.

    References:
    When is Energy Storage Eligible for the 30 Percent ITC?
    Federal Tax Incentives for Battery Storage Systems
     
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  12. avesraggiana

    avesraggiana Member

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    Funny, just like you, I filled out everything except the CC information last night, closed the browser and went to bed. They called and left a message this morning.

    Thanks for the advance notice about what to expect. Your second pause above is giving me some pause to think about the feasibility of all this. I'm still very interested, though.
     
  13. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    If my solar system was bigger, I would not even consider doing this. The fact that I still pay PG&E $1,000 per year gives me room for some real payback on the system.

    In all honesty, I would rather have a system that was in my full control and charged directly from solar and was not interconnected to the grid. The SGIP and ITC would not be in the picture at all. However, in order to get the costs down, I would have to use salvaged EV batteries and I just don't have the time to put that together. The numbers work out for this option, so I will just see how it plays out. Putting a $500 deposit for 3-6 months is not a burden. Tesla has had $1,000 for my Model 3 for nearly a year...
     
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  14. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    I am on SCE so I assume I am not elligable?
     
  15. Brovane

    Brovane Member

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    I talked to Swell about the same issue back in January and this was their response.

    Also keep in mind that throughout the first year of ownership, the battery needs to be charged at least 75% of the time from the solar in order to maintain eligibility for the Federal Tax Credit, although I have no idea how the federal government would monitor that.

    So even worse case scenario if you are afraid of the Federal Government denying eligibility. Just charge the batteries from Solar the 1st year of ownership and then change things up.

    Added below what I was told about installation steps.

    Thanks for taking a few minutes to go over some questions with me today. I want to first address the question you had regarding the installation. We here at Swell do a full installation, there will be no work left for you when our install is complete. The full scope of the installation is as follows:


    1. Install 125 amp Protected loads panel in your house, to allow us to isolate the critical and important loads and provide them with continuous backup power.
    2. Relocating all requested critical loads to the new 125 amp sub panel
    3. Install and fully mount Tesla Powerwall Home Battery, Interconnect it with new 125 amp protected loads panel.
    4. Relocate PV breaker to the protected loads panel
    5. Install an AC disconnect for the battery system
    One potential wrinkle to consider is that the SGIP rebate might be subject to Federal Tax. I had this happen when I got a rebate to replace my lawn with climate correct vegetation and of course the Fed's wanted their share. So just be aware that possibly with the SGIP you might be giving some of it to the Federal Government.
     
  16. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Of course, you will have to pay sales tax on the total hardware cost as well. If SGIP gives me free money, I would be happy to consider that as income.
     
  17. Brovane

    Brovane Member

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    I always came to the same conclusion that there was some buffer in there. The reasoning that I also used was that they are charging extra for handling the SGIP paperwork. Which I am fin with them charging extra for them to deal with red-tape.

    Did I get that correct, that you are doing one Powerwall? I decided to go with 2 Powerwall units.
     
  18. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Read it again. You are eligible.
     
  19. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Yes, I signed up for one PowerWall.
     
  20. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    Please keep us posted with the install, photos will
    be awesome
     

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