Emerging Renewables Program

March 05, 2013


Note: Senate Bill 1018 suspended this program effective June 27, 2012. Applications that were approved prior to July 1, 2012 will be processed. Applications that were not approved by June 27, 2012 will not be processed. See the CEC's Frequently Asked Questions about SB 1018 for more information. Technologies previously eligible for the ERP are now eligible for the Self-Generation Incentive Program.  The information below is presented for historical purposes.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) offers cash incentives to promote the installation of grid-connected small wind and fuel cell renewable energy electric-generating systems through its Emerging Renewables Program. Wind systems must be permanently interconnected to the electrical distribution grid of the utility serving the customer’s electrical load, but fuel cells used for backup generation for emergency, safety, or telecommunication purposes do not need to be grid-connected. To qualify for an incentive, the participant must be a customer of one of the utilities contributing funds to support the program -- Pacific Gas& Electric Company , Southern California Edison Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, or Southern California Water Company (doing business as Bear Valley Electric Service).

Through May 7, 2012, rebate levels for the Emerging Renewables Program are:

  • Small Wind Turbines (up to 50 kW): $3.00/W for first 10 kW and $1.50/W for increments > 10 kW and < 30 kW

For all small wind turbines on the CEC's list of eligible equipment, the power rating at 11 meters per second will be used for calculating the incentive. Rebates for eligible renewable energy systems installed on affordable housing projects are available at 25% above the standard rebate level up to 75% of the system’s installed cost.

Incentives received from sources other than this program, such as other utility incentive programs, a State of California sponsored incentive program, or a federal government sponsored incentive program, other than tax credits, will reduce the amount of the Emerging Renewables Program rebate by no less than 5% to prevent total incentives from exceeding total system costs.

The renewable energy system must generate electricity to offset the consumer's on-site electrical load, but the expected production may not be more than the historical or expected electrical needs of the consumer.

Funding for the installation of solar photovoltaic systems on new residential construction is available under the Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership program. Funding for the installation and operation of solar photovoltaic systems on existing residential and new and existing non-residential buildings is available under the California Public Utilities Commission’s California Solar Initiative. Information on these two programs can be found at www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: California
Incentive Type: Rebate Program
Web Site: http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/erprebate
Administrator: California Energy Commission
Start Date: 1998
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Wind (All)
  • Wind (Small)
  • Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Incentive Amount: All incentives suspended
Eligible System Size: Less than 30 kW; Wind systems up to 50 kW may participate, but rebate is limited to less than 30 kW
Equipment Requirements: All major system components must be new and approved by the California Energy Commission; Must carry a minimum 5-year warranty on all equipment; All systems must be installed with a performance meter.
Installation Requirements: Must be grid-connected and installed by a California-licensed contractor to receive full rebate. This requirement does not apply to fuel cell systems used for backup generation for emergency, safety, or telecommunication purposes.
Owner-installed systems are allowed, but incentive is reduced by 15%.
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Remains with customer/producer


Name: 2011 Program Guidebook


Name: Energy Call Center
Organization: California Energy Commission
Address: 1516 9th Street MS-45
Sacramento CA 95814-5512
Phone: (800) 555-7794
Email: renewable@energy.state.ca.us

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.