California Rebate Program Overview

California energy costs.

California now has the highest electricity rates of any State in the country.  But, you can use the power in the wind to radically cut your electric bill and within a few years enjoy essentially free electricity.

California wind system rebates.

The best part is the State will pay for almost half of it! The State of California provides a cash rebate for qualified purchases of small wind systems up to 30 kW.  The CEC (Cal. Energy Commission) rebate for wind (effective January 1, 2006) is $2.50 per watt for the first 7,500 watts and then $1.50 per watt for additional wattage up to the limit of 30 kW.

The California legislature has passed new regulations that should dramatically streamline the permitting of small wind turbine installations throughout rural California. The new regulations (passed under AB 1207) require “wind turbine friendly” zoning ordinances, providing relief from 35 ft. height restrictions and other historical barriers to permitting small wind turbines on lots on 1 acre and larger.

CEC rebates are reserved on a “first come, first served” basis. Reservations, which are free and non-binding, last up to 6 months. The reservation application requires an equipment quotation from an approved vendor and a copy of your utility bill (or an explanation of why one isn’t available yet).

The CEC program description is available online (click here). The new rebate reservation form and new program guidelines are available on-line (click here).

Modest wind resources are fine for small wind systems. Wind resources are sufficient in many parts of California. In some places they are excellent.

Publications/studies

The California Energy Commission has published a helpful booklet, Buying a Small Wind Electric System – A California Consumer’s Guide … you can download it by clicking here.

The California Energy Commission published a helpful booklet, Permitting Small Wind Turbines: A Handbook … To download the booklet ckick here.

The CEC has completed a set of new very high resolution (200m x 200m) wind maps for the entire state. To see the new maps, click here.

Please use the 30m map, which gives the wind resource at 98 ft above ground. This is a typical tower height for a 10 kW home sized wind system. Until the CEC posts the “zooming” maps on their web site you will have to call them to get the proper wind classification in complex terrain.

Rebates and your cost.

Our most popular package is the 10 kW Excel-S “GridTek” system. Our 10 kW GridTek system is the only CEC-certified small wind system that can operate without batteries. This system is rated at 9,100 watts by the CEC and qualifies for a rebate of $21,450.

Incentives and your payback time.

With the new California incentives the payback may be in as little as 6-7 years! And in many situations the monthly saving will completely offset the monthly loan payment!  Financially, buying a home wind system is vastly superior to just purchasing all your electricity from the power company. It’s like the difference between renting a home and buying a home.

A small wind system will provide you with a return on your investment of 10 – 20% – tax-free – depending on your usage and wind resource.  This is equivalent to a 14% – 28% return on a taxable investment!  Compare that to 2% from a money market account, 5% from a long-term CD, or negative earnings from mutual funds over the last few years. Want to do your own payback analysis? – click here for our free MS Excel spreadsheet model.