California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)


What is the Self-Generation Incentive Program?

To encourage more residential storage deployments in California, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) established the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The program provides incentives to help reduce the costs of storage to consumers. Residential storage batteries, like Powerwall, reduce strain on the utility power grid and in turn help reduce the need to build expensive fossil fuel-fired power plants. SGIP is divided into steps, each with its own incentive level. The incentive rate declines over time as the market matures. On a statewide basis, approximately $57 million has been made available specifically for residential energy storage systems through 2019. Learn more about the California Self-Generation Incentive Program.

Who is eligible to receive the SGIP rebate?

Powerwall must be used to support the electric grid and be located within Pacific Gas & Electric (“PG&E”), Southern California Edison (“SCE”), Southern California Gas Company, or San Diego Gas & Electric (“SDG&E”) utility territory. Customers who receive gas service through Pacific Gas & Electric also qualify.

What is the process to apply for SGIP?

  1. Once you have confirmed an order for a Powerwall, Tesla or your Certified Installer must file SGIP initial paperwork to reserve a portion of funding. Availability of funding is based on the current step and volume of applications.
  2. Tesla or your Certified Installer will install, commission and gain utility approval for the Powerwall.
  3. Tesla or your Certified Installer will submit the final paperwork to SGIP administrators.
  4. An SGIP administrator will inspect your system to confirm it is operating properly.
  5. Then you will receive your cash rebate. 

How much of a financial incentive will I receive for Powerwall?

It depends on when you apply and which step the program is in. Incentives are greater in earlier steps. Additionally, the incentive amount in future steps may be lower depending on how quickly the incentive budget in earlier steps was fully subscribed. The table below shows the estimated incentive value for Powerwall.

Approximate incentive per Powerwall (up to 2) by step (updated last May 2018).

Stage Estimated Rebate Value Status
Step 1 $5,800 Fully subscribed
Step 2 $4,640 Fully subscribed by Tesla, LADWP budget still available to Tesla Certified Installers
Step 3 $4,060 Opens after Step 2 is fully subscribed
Step 4 $3,480 Opens after Step 3 is fully subscribed
Step 5 $2,900 Opens after Step 4 is fully subscribed


Can I submit my own application to SGIP?

The SGIP program does not allow Tesla to support customers applying as their own developer. Tesla provides SGIP support for customers with Powerwalls installed by Tesla and our Certified Installers at no additional fee. However, we are not able to provide certain documents and reports necessary to the program to a non-Certified Installer.

Can you guarantee a project will receive the rebate from SGIP before I purchase Powerwall?

Unfortunately not. Due to the popularity of the SGIP program not every customer can be submitted to SGIP. We prioritize customer submittals based on the date they purchased their Powerwall.

There are funds available in the current step; why can’t my project be submitted to SGIP now?

Tesla and each of our Certified Installers have an allocation of the SGIP budget. This allocation is called a developer cap and each developer can only reserve 20% of each step's budget. Some developers may hit this cap earlier than others, meaning that they cannot apply for new applications even though there are still funds in the current program step.

How many Powerwalls can I apply to SGIP?

SGIP has reserved funds specifically for small-scale residential installations. To be considered residential, the storage system must be no larger than 10 kW.

Tesla will only be submitting customers in the residential budget, therefore only systems up to 2 Powerwalls will be submitted through Tesla. Other developers may choose to submit applications for systems with 3 or more Powerwalls, but these systems will be subject to additional sizing requirements.

What are the requirements of customers participating in the SGIP program?

Over the next five years, you’ll need to meet SGIP’s requirements to use Powerwall in a manner that will meet the goal of reducing load on the grid and reducing greenhouse gases. To do this, the Powerwall must meet a ‘cycling’ requirement where Powerwall will need to fully discharge at least 52 times, or 687 kWh per year.

Tesla has designed Powerwall to comply with these requirements, with little impact to customers.

How do I make sure my Powerwall meets the annual usage requirement?

You will want to make sure Powerwall is set in Self-Powered mode or Time-Based Control mode. To access either mode, go to the Tesla app. On the main page, select Customize and choose the mode you prefer. In either of these modes, Powerwall will  cycle (charge and discharge) daily. This is the sure way to meet SGIP’s requirements. From either mode, you can easily modify your backup reserve (energy stored in case of a utility outage) by scrolling down and setting the reserve. We recommend that you set your reserve to no more than 30%.

Of course, if you know bad weather is coming, you can choose Backup-Only mode, which will automatically reserve 100% of Powerwall’s capacity for backup. After the storm or outage is over, remember to select Self-Powered mode or Time-Based Control to continue cycling the battery.

How can I view my Powerwall usage and see how I am tracking towards the 687 kWh annual metric?

Simply return to the Tesla app home screen, select Power Flow, and click on the Powerwall icon. From here you can choose a time period to track your usage. On average, you will want to use 57 kWh / month. We anticipate all of our customers will meet this minimum requirement provided they follow the recommendations above regarding Backup-Only mode and the backup reserve.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at (877) 798-3752  -- Select option 2, then 5.

What if I fall short of the 687 kWh per year requirement?

If your system is not on track to meeting the annual usage the SGIP program requires, certain settings of your system may be restricted, for example, limiting the share of the system’s capacity you can reserve for backup. This may occur 8 months into the year and on the anniversary of that date for the next four years of the program. This would be a temporary restriction, with full functionality restored once you have met the program’s cycling requirements.

May I use my energy storage system solely as a source of backup power?

No. The SGIP rules prohibit energy storage systems from being used solely for backup purposes. The system must “cycle” – charge and discharge on a regular basis – to meet some of your onsite electrical needs. You can adjust the backup reserve or use Backup-Only mode for times when you are concerned about the power (for example during storms), but for day-to-day operation, you will need to use Self-Powered mode or Time-Based Control mode to meet the SGIP requirements.

Will I still get to benefit from the Investment Tax Credit (ITC)?

If Powerwall is installed at the same time or retrofitted onto existing solar panels, Powerwall is eligible for the 30% Federal ITC. You can receive both the California SGIP incentive and the Federal ITC for your Powerwall if you meet both program requirements.