A Look at Energy Efficient Incentives for California

by | Sep 6, 2023 | EV Charger Incentives, HVAC Incentives, Lighting Incentives, Other Incentives | 0 comments

Financial incentives are a crucial tool in encouraging the adoption of energy-efficient practices and technologies in businesses and residences. Energy efficient incentives include loans, grants, rebates, and bonds to use toward implementing improvements aimed at reducing utility usage. Income tax credits, tax deductions, and sales tax reductions and exemptions on eligible products are also available to help offset purchasing and installation costs.

Available programs can vary by state, so here’s a brief look at the incentives for California residents and businesses.

With the differences between states, if you have a national or multi-regional footprint, understanding the differences between state programs is key. Check out our blog feed for more state-by-state incentive and rebate programs

Incentives for California

The following energy-efficient incentives are available for qualifying businesses in California.

  • Bright Schools Program: Educational agencies, which include public K – 12 and charter schools, county educational offices, state special schools, and community colleges, can apply for incentives in CA under the Bright Schools Program. Applicants must be eligible for Proposition 39 funding to qualify for a grant of up to $20k. The funding helps support technical guidance with feasibility studies, energy audits, performance specifications, and professional engineering assistance services.
  • California Clean Energy Jobs Act: Alson known as Proposition 39 K-12 program provides funding for clean energy and energy-efficiency retrofits in school buildings. The program’s goal is to boost savings associated with energy usage and costs.
  • Energy Partnership Program: The Energy Partnership Program provides similar support as the Bright Schools Program. The program offers grants of up to $20K in assistance to cities, counties, special districts, public colleges/universities, and public hospitals and care facilities. The grants support technical assistance with feasibility studies, performance specifications, energy audits, and professional engineering support. 
  • California Capital Access Program: California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA) also known as CPAC, provides loan loss assistance to small businesses to cover up to 100% of losses on specific loan defaults. Projects eligible for loss recovery include energy-efficiency retrofits. The program works with lenders to help small businesses qualify for an energy-efficiency improvement loan.
  • PACE Loss Reserve Program: The PACE Loss Reserve Program minimizes risks mortgage lenders may face associated with residential PACE financing. CAEATFA does not distribute PACE funding, but the $10 million in loss reserves are available through the program to help mortgage lenders recoup losses accumulated in a forced sale or foreclosure under a PACE lien.
  • Energy Conservation Assistance Act: The ECAA is a loan program providing low-interest loans at 1% up to $3 million to counties, cities, special districts, and other public entities to support clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
  • Energy Conservation Assistance Act – Educational Subaccount (ECAA-ED): The ECAA-ED is a loan program providing loans to public school districts, charter schools, county education offices, and special schools. The interest-free loans, up to $3 million help to support clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
  • STE Program: The STE Program excludes sales and use tax for California manufacturers investing in clean and alternative energy sources. The program also applies to advanced transportation, recycling, and manufacturing projects. Manufacturers can receive up to $10 million in sale tax exclusion credits or $20 million for large-scale projects that improve facilities and equipment.
  • GoGreen Financing Program: Formerly known as CHEEF, the statewide platform works to provide private capital to support energy efficiency projects for single-family, affordable multifamily, and small business facilities. CHEEF provides low-interest loans with longer payback terms and broader underwriting criteria for projects aimed at improving energy efficiency. Working with California’s credit unions, the project has enabled over 2,000 loans since April 2022 totaling over $33 million.
  • Farm Worker and Multi-Family Low-Income Weatherization Programs: The program focuses on reducing GHCs in low-income residential homes by installing solar photovoltaics and other energy efficiency technologies. It also provides technical assistance and financial incentives for multi-family properties to use toward energy-efficient upgrades and renewable energy projects. The program contains four components.
  1. The Single-Family Energy Efficiency and Solar Photovoltaics (PV) Program
  2. The Single Family Solar PV Program
  3. The Multi-Family Energy Efficiency and Renewables Program
  4. Community Solar Pilot Program
  • Food Production Investment Program: The Food Production Investment Program (FPIP) offers grants to California’s food processing industry to reduce GHG emissions associated with energy usage. The program works to increase the adoption rate of renewable and sustainable energy technologies to help food processing plants lower their carbon footprint. Funding from the program is divided into two tiers.
  1. Tier I provides funding for the best practices associated with energy efficiency
  2. Tier II funds emerging renewable and energy-efficient technologies capable of reducing GHG emissions.

All programs in the FPIP must verify on-site measurements that prove the project effectively reduces GHG emissions and energy usage.

Commercial Incentive and Rebate Recovery Services

To learn more about energy efficient incentives for California and to start your incentive recovery process, contact Incentive Reabte360. Call 480-653-8180, email [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.

Reference: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (2023). State and Local Policy Database. ACEEE. https://database.aceee.org/state/financial-incentives


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