NOTICE OF COMMITTEE WORKSHOP ON
THE EMERGING RENEWABLES PROGRAM
The California Energy Commission's Renewables Committee (Committee) will conduct a workshop to seek public comment on proposed revisions to the Emerging Renewables Program Guidebook (P500-03-001F). Commissioner John L. Geesman is the Presiding Member and Commissioner James D. Boyd is the Associate Member. The workshop will be held:
MONDAY, MAY 3, 2004
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room A
Audio from this meeting will be broadcast over the Internet. For details, please go to:
To arrange for call-in participation at the meeting, please e-mail Dale Trenschel at [email@example.com] by 5:00 pm, April 29, 2004.
Purpose of the Workshop
The purpose of this workshop is to receive public comments on proposed revisions to the December 2003 Emerging Renewables Program Guidebook. The proposed revisions do not alter the rebate structure, but contain substantive changes to the program (Attachment A). To review all proposed guidebook revisions, visit the Energy Commission's website at:
The workshop will focus on the topics identified in Attachment A. Interested parties may also offer comments on any portion of the Emerging Renewables Program Guidebook.
If you prefer a hard copy of the proposed guidebook language, please contact the Project Secretary, Janet Preis, at (916) 654-4524, or e-mail her at [firstname.lastname@example.org], and request a copy of the May 3, 2004 Committee workshop materials.
After receiving public comment, the Committee anticipates presenting a revised guidebook for formal adoption at an Energy Commission Business Meeting on June 16, 2004 with an effective starting date for the revisions of July 1, 2004.
Please note, the proposed revisions to the guidelines for the Solar Schools element of the Emerging Renewables Program will be considered for adoption at the Energy Commission Business Meeting on May 19, 2004, rather than the Business Meeting on June 16, 2004. These proposed guideline revisions are being adopted on a separate track, because matching funds from the California Power Authority for the Solar Schools element are scheduled to expire on June 30, 2004. These matching funds must be encumbered by this date or are at risk of being lost.
The Energy Commission has administered a rebate program for renewable energy systems since 1998. The Emerging Renewables Program grants rebates to customers who purchase and install renewable technologies for on-site generation. By lowering the initial cost to customers, greater sales are encouraged supporting expanded operations for manufacturers and retailers with future cost reductions. The design and content of the current program was developed after staff and Committee workshops were conducted in November and December of 2002, respectively. The Energy Commission adopted the program guidebook at its February 19, 2003 Business Meeting, and the program started March 3, 2003. Participation in the Emerging Renewables Program set record levels in 2003 with over 8,000 applications submitted, 3,000 systems installed, and $52,000,000 in rebates paid. Because of this high level of demand, in December 2003, the Committee conducted a workshop to obtain comment on a reduced rebate offered for photovoltaic systems. The rebate was subsequently lowered on January 1, 2004, but to a lesser degree than proposed at the December workshop.
Members of the public may submit written comments at the workshop on May 3, 2004, however you are strongly encouraged to provide any written comments in advance by April 28, 2004. Those submitting written comments should provide an original plus 12 copies to the Energy Commission's Dockets Unit. The Energy Commission encourages parties to consider submitting comments electronically so that they may be posted on the Emerging Renewables Program web page. If you are interested in filing comments electronically, please send one e-mail copy to [email@example.com] with "02-REN-1038" in the subject line, and follow up with one original hardcopy. All written materials filed with the Dockets Unit through e-mail, regular mail, or in person will become part of the public record. Please send or deliver your comments to:
California Energy Commission
Re: Docket No. 02-REN-1038
Dockets Unit, MS-4
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5504
Interested parties may also provide oral comments at the workshop. If you are providing written comments at the workshop, please also make an additional 30 copies available at the beginning of the workshop.
The Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, provides the public assistance in participating in Energy Commission activities. If you would like information on how to participate in this workshop, please contact the Public Adviser's Office by phone at (916) 654-4489 or toll free at (800) 822-6228, by FAX at (916) 654-4493, or by e-mail at [firstname.lastname@example.org]. If you have a disability and require assistance to participate in this workshop, please contact Lourdes Quiroz at (916) 654-5146 or by e-mail at [email@example.com] at least five days in advance.
If you have questions on the technical subject matter of this notice, please contact Dale Trenschel at (916) 653-2834 or by e-mail at [firstname.lastname@example.org].
News media inquiries should be directed to Claudia Chandler, Assistant Director, at
JOHN L. GEESMAN
Commissioner and Presiding Member
JAMES D. BOYD
Commissioner and Associate Member
Mail List: Master 63
Note: California Energy Commission's formal name is State of California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission.
Synopsis of Proposed Changes to the December 2003 Emerging Renewables Program Guidebook
A. Program Feature Changes
1. Change reservation period from 9 to 6 months
- Preserves adequate time to install systems
- Releases reserved funds which have not been used sooner for other customers
2. Addition of Bear Valley Electric customers as eligible to participate.
3. Addition of customer permission for the Energy Commission to share information with the utility
- Eliminates need for interconnection applications
- Improves CEC and utility ability to confirm grid connection
4. Clarify language on contractor and self install systems (Guidebook appendix 5, item B)
- Revisions will reduce confusion/miscommunication on requirements contractors must meet to reserve full rebate levels
5. Changes to criteria for extension requests
- Building permit must be issued within first two months and requests must include permit copy
- Customer payments increased from 25% of 50% of system cost
- Eliminates extensions for 18 month reservations
- Form added to help standardize submittals and improve completeness of requests
6. Allow 18 month reservations for ALL new construction
- Reduces the need for time extensions caused by construction delays
- Adds requirement that building permit be provided to qualify for a reservation
7. Purchase agreements and installation contracts
- Further clarifies information needed on equipment and installation contracts
- Installation contract would not be required when new home developer uses their own employees
8. Public entities must certify they comply with Civil Code 714, regarding unreasonable restrictions on solar energy systems (per Assembly Bill 1407).
9. Eliminate requirement for itemized costs of major components and labor
- Existing cost data is inconsistent
- Reduces administrative burden
10. Site definition included for consistency with Self Generation Incentive Program
11. Further clarifications on criteria for affordable housing rebate level
- 10 percent energy efficiency criteria to be demonstrated through Title 24 model runs
- copy of regulatory agreement or title of property required to demonstrate that residence is limited to extremely low, very low, lower or moderate income individuals
12. Implements Solar Schools Program element.
Please note, the proposed guideline revisions for this element will be considered for adoption by the Energy Commission on May 19, 2004, rather than on June 16, 2004. These proposed guideline revisions are being adopted on a separate track, because matching funds from the California Power Authority for this element are scheduled to expire on June 30, 2004. These matching funds must be encumbered by this date or are at risk of being lost.
B. Processing Changes
1. Sets limit of up to 60 days for applicants to respond to payment correction requests
- Clears out old, unpaid claims
- Applicants would need to reapply to the program
2. Disapproval of inadequate reservation applications without detailed review
- Applicant must resubmit entire application
- Reduces piece-meal submittals
- Eliminates queue advantage of partial applications
3. Accept only mailed in reservation requests
- Reduce fax-related errors (faxing still acceptable for clarifications)
- No significant time penalty compared to faxing in materials
C. Additional Questions
- Should the Energy Commission administer a performance-based incentive program for systems 30 kW and larger? If no, should the funds originally set aside for such a program be used for rebates on systems less than 30 kW?
- Should the Energy Commission consider adding advanced anaerobic digester systems using any conversion technology (microturbine, internal combustion engine, fuel cell) as an eligible technology to receive rebates through the Emerging Renewables Program?