For immediate release: May 21, 2001
Contact: Percy Della (916) 654-4989

Higher Rebates OK'd for Renewable Energy Systems

Sacramento - Good news for Californians who want to generate their own electricity using renewable energy. On May 16, 2001, the California Energy Commission increased rebates from $3 to $4.50 a watt, or up to 50 percent off an eligible renewable system's purchase price, whichever is lower.

The rebates are available from the Energy Commission's Emerging Renewables Buydown Program, and apply to solar photovoltaic, small wind (10 kilowatt or less), fuel cells using renewable fuels and solar thermal electric generation systems. All types of electricity customers are eligible: residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial.

Participants eligible for the Energy Commission program can buy their electricity from any electric service provider, but their proposed sites must be within the electric utility service area of Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Bear Valley Electric Company. Participating systems must remain connected to the electric grid.

Increased rebates became possible when Governor Gray Davis, whose desire is to provide more power to the electrical grid, signed legislation that added another $22 million to the Commission's $54 million Emerging Renewables Buydown Account. The legislation also funded renewable energy rebate programs for municipal utilities.

"We expect this increase in rebates to further fuel an already active market for solar and wind generation technologies and make California the largest grid-connected market for solar electricity generation," said Energy Commissioner Michal (spelled correctly) Moore. "Reducing the cost of solar and wind electricity generation allows more Californians to hedge against reduced reliability and uncertain electricity prices."

To be eligible for this increased rebate level, the funding must be reserved and the system must be installed on or after February 8, 2001 - the date Governor Davis announced his intent to augment program funding to increase rebate levels. Rebates are also subject to funding availability.

For more information about rebates for renewable energy equipment, contact the Commission's Renewable Energy Call Center toll free at (800) 555-7794, or log on to:

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