PG&E offering higher energy efficiency incentives to wildfire victims

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will double new construction energy efficiency incentives for residential and business customers who lost their homes or businesses in the October 2017 Northern California wildfires.

The enhanced incentives under the California Advanced Homes Program and Savings By Design program will be available for customers across Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

As part of this, PG&E is teaming up with Sonoma Clean Power and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to offer a “one stop shop” for residential green building incentives for customers in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties who lost their homes in the October 2017 Northern California wildfires.

“Rebuilding after these devastating wildfires presents challenges for many of our customers. PG&E’s goal is to support our customers by alleviating some costs so they can focus on their families and the future. We want to help our customers rebuild efficiently and sustainably and save money on energy bills when they move into their homes,” said Robin Christensen, head of PG&E’s Northern California rebuild team.

California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards, called “Title 24, Part 6,” guide residential and non-residential building and construction across the state. The standards help to ensure energy efficiency in new construction to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions associated with buildings, as well as to lower energy costs for California customers.

As a result, single family homes built to the latest 2016 standards will use approximately 28 percent less energy for lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation and water heating than homes built to the 2013 standards.

PG&E will increase incentives for the California Advanced Homes Program for new home construction and the Savings By Design program for new business construction for customers who lost their buildings during the October 2017 wildfires. Both programs offer incentives for building above energy efficiency code requirements based on standard energy design ratings.

PG&E will increase the incentive for customers participating in the California Advanced Homes Program. For a new home that is built twenty percent above code, the incentive increases from $1,400 to $2,800. PG&E will work closely with both home builders and individual homeowners who are rebuilding to support participation. These changes will be available as they exist today through 2021.

Additionally, to support a shortage in local housing, PG&E expanded the California Advanced Homes Program to allow detached, in-law units with separate mechanical systems to receive full incentives for these areas. This means that multiple residential construction projects that share an electric meter and/or land parcel will be evaluated as separate projects and each of them will be individually eligible to participate and receive an incentive.

In addition to doubling incentives for existing programs, PG&E is partnering with Sonoma Clean Power and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to support customers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties whose homes were destroyed by the October 2017 wildfires. The collaboration, called Advanced Energy Rebuild, allows homeowners and builders to access incentives from all three organizations with a single application.

Based on PG&E’s existing California Advanced Homes Program for new home construction, eligible customers can apply for the new Advanced Energy Rebuild Program to receive up to $17,500 for rebuilding sustainably. Condominiums, apartments and in-law units will be eligible for a portion of the incentives. The program is available through December 31, 2019 or until funds run out.

For business owners, the Savings by Design program currently offers incentives up to $150,000 per building. PG&E will increase the incentives to up to $300,000 per building. Additionally, PG&E will increase its comprehensive design assistance, offer expedited application reviews and engineering and sales support for business customers who lost their property. These changes will be available as they exist today through 2023.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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