Storage Incentives Bill Clears Critical Hurdle with Flying Colors

Broad and Diverse Support for Energy Storage Solutions


Sacramento - Thanks to the outpouring of support and leadership of author Senator Scott Wiener (D-SF), SB 700 cleared a critical hurdle today passing Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee with an overwhelming bi-partisan 14-1 vote. 

In committee, SB 700 was amended to become a 5-year extension of the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). SGIP is set to expire in 2020 but funds are likely to be fully subscribed next year. 

“SB 700 is critical to the continued growth of behind-the-meter energy storage,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro who joined Senator Wiener in presenting the bill before the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee. 

SB 700 would direct the CPUC to continue the program through 2026. The program would allocate an approximate $650 million of new funds for energy storage once admin costs are subtracted. This, combined with the existing $610 million, means SB 700 would commit California to a combined $1.3 billion in storage incentives. 

The bill had a sprawling list of support that included 155 companies and organizations. Standing up in lone opposition to SB 700 at the hearing were the three investor-owned utilities.  

“It is important to note the bi-partisan vote on SB 700,” said Del Chiaro. “Every California business knows that a broad-base of support for solar and energy storage exists in the marketplace so it is great to see that public support reflected in votes.”

Energy storage is still in its infancy from a market perspective. It is where solar photovoltaics were in 2007. However, consumer awareness and changes to state policies are driving up demand. With the help of a longer-term rebate program, storage can flourish, providing many benefits to the consumer and to ratepayers at large. 

SB 700 now heads to Assembly Appropriations Committee later this summer.