SMUD home solar, electric vehicle, and appliance rebates - the complete guide
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is one of the few utility companies that offers significant rebates to customers who are interested in going solar or buying an electric vehicle.
There are two solar rebate programs: one for residential customers, and another for businesses. SMUD offers has a rebate for customers who purchase an electric vehicle. This makes SMUD one of the best municipal utility companies in California for customers who want to directly support solar power and and green energy.
SMUD rebates for residential solar panels
Residential and commercial customers of SMUD can get a flat rebate of $300 for the installation of a net metered photovoltaic system.
- System size: up to 20 kilowatts (kW). Note: the previous 10 kW limit has been removed.
- Solar customers must be on a time-of-day rate plan. See the SMUD website for current rates.
- Must be permitted and installed by a California-licensed B, C-10, or C-46 contractor.
- Must be installed according to SMUD electrical grid interconnection requirements
- SMUD will install a PV production meter at no cost to customer or contractor.
Note: because you must be on a time-of-day plan, your financial payback will be affected by when you use electricity. Also, you may consider facing your solar panels west. Read our article on which direction your solar panels should face to learn more.
SMUD rebates for businesses going solar
Commercial solar installations have requirements similar to residential installations. The rebate depends on the system size:
- 200 amp and under - $1,000
- Over 200 amp to 800 amp - $3,000
- Over 800 amp to 1,600 amp - $5,000
Engineering specifications for commercial installations differ from those from residential projects.
Net metering for SMUD solar interconnections
As a municipal utility, SMUD isn’t required to participate in the net metering rules set out by the California Public Utilities Commission. Despite that, SMUD offers net metering to its customers. As a SMUD solar customer, you will have a 12-month “true-up” cycle in which any excess generation credits will be paid out to you according to a formula that is described in SMUD’s net metering rules.
You might also be interested in what your utility bill will look like under SMUD net metering. SMUD has a sample bill that shows how solar generation line items and credits are itemized.
How to apply for the SMUD solar rebate
Both residential and commercial customers can apply for their rebate through the SMUD PowerClerk website. Normally, your installer will fill out the application with the necessary documentation, but if your project is self-installed, you will be the one to complete the application.
SMUD rebates for solar batteries
With the rapid growth in intermittent sources of renewable energy, the use of grid-scale battery is becoming much more prevalent. SMUD is encouraging the use of residential battery storage, with or without solar panels, when the batteries are used to reduce energy loads during period of peak demand. SMUD incentives for battery storage:
- 1 kW to 10 kW of battery storage: $300 incentive
- 11 kW and larger battery storage: $600 incentive
To be eligible, the system owner is required to use at least 51% of the battery capacity offset energy loads during peak periods. This is also known as “peak shaving”. Many battery systems have modes that do this automatically. They work by charging from the grid or your solar panels during off-peak times, and use the battery capacity to power your home during peak hours. Doing this reduces the strain on the grid, and helps reduce costs for the utility. The incentive is available whether or not solar panels are part of the homeowner’s system. Your installer will normally apply for the rebate and provide the necessary documentation. Visit the SMUD website for more information.
SMUD rebates on electric vehicles
SMUD customers who are thinking about buying a new electric vehicle will be happy to know that you can get one of two incentives:
- $599 cash back, which approximately covers the cost of two years of electric car charging **OR**
- A free 240 volt Level 2 charger (normally retails for $665 plus tax and shipping)
- The vehicle must be new. Pre-owned electric vehicles do not qualify.
- Both cash purchases and leases are eligible.
- You must have a sales or lease contract and a DMV registration showing an address that is the address of a current SMUD customer.
- EV customers on the time-of-day plan will receive an additional $0.015/kWh credit from midnight to 6 a.m. to encourage electric vehicle charging during that time.
SMUD appliance and heating/cooling rebates
SMUD also provides rebates for a wide range of energy efficient appliances, and heating and cooling equipment. See the list below for a summary of rebates available and the specific requirements.
These rebates have specific requirements to qualify. See the links below for details.
To apply, visit the SMUD website.
- Induction cooktop/range: $100 for an electric range replacement or $500 for a gas range replacement
- Refrigerator (for select ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2019 models): $75
- Room conditioner (for 2019 ENERGY STAR® Emerging Technology Award models): $100
- Clothes washer (for ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2019 models): up to $125
- Smart thermostat: $50
- Heat pump water heater (UEF of 2.87 or higher, minimum 50 gallon): $1,000 - $3,000
- HVAC replacement (central air conditioning and/or heat pump; rebate based on efficiency): $500 - $650
- Whole house fan: $100
- Ductless mini split (minimum SEER 16.0, HSPF 8.5): $200 - $800
- Pool pump (ENERGY STAR variable speed pool pump and motor with automatic control systems): $250