Richmond Recovery Solar Rebate (R 3 ) Application Package

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1 Richmond Recovery Solar Rebate (R 3 ) Application Package

2 Table of Contents 1. Program Summary Rebate Tiers and Qualifications Rebate for Low-Income Households Eligibility & Requirements Income Requirements Affordable Housing Requirements What forms do I need to complete? Application Process Rebate for Any Income Households Eligibility and Requirements Any Income Rebate Levels Additional Funding Opportunities Application Process Technical Requirements Frequently Asked Questions Application & Instructions

3 1. Program Summary The goal of the Richmond Recovery Rebate (R 3 ) program is to increase the number of residential solar installations in the City of Richmond by providing rebate payments to homeowners. The R 3 program demonstrates the City s commitment to a sustainable energy future and the creation of quality jobs for Richmond residents. The City of Richmond has allocated $415,454 of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to stimulate the local business economy and increase the amount of renewable energy resources in the City. The City aims to provide residents with a solar rebate program that incorporates triple bottom line principles: social equity, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability. The R 3 program is estimated to generate over $2 million dollars of work for Richmond contractors and install solar on over 100 Richmond homes, advancing the city s energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction goals. The program offers a one-time rebate payment to local solar electric projects to reduce the cost of solar installation. At this point in time, R 3 payments are provided to residential solar photovoltaics only, and not to commercial, government or non-profit entities. Rebates will be awarded on a first-come-firstserved basis. 2. Rebate Tiers and Qualifications The R 3 program currently offers rebates to residential customers only. The City highly encourages residents to employ local residents and contractors on their solar installation. The Richmond Recovery Rebate will have the following two rebate levels: Tier Rebate Amount Description Income Requirements Low Income Household FREE Offered to low-income Richmond households that qualify for the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes program. Low-income Richmond households. Resident must make less than 80% Average Median Income and be located in the Enterprise Zone or meet affordable housing requirements. Any Income Household $1.50 per CEC watt Offered to all Richmond households regardless of income. At least 1/3 of the on-site installation work must be completed by a RichmondBUILD graduate. No income requirements - 2 -

4 The Richmond recovery rebate will not be paid out under any circumstances in excess of net system cost after state incentives, irrespective of the limits described in the tables. For a more thorough description of each rebate offered, please continue to their respective sections in this document. 3. Rebate for Low-Income Households Qualifying low-income households will leverage two different solar rebates for a free solar installation. The first rebate is provided by the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program administered by the non-profit GRID Alternatives. The second rebate is provided by the City s R 3 program. Together these rebates will fund 100% of the solar installation and equipment costs. Residents who qualify for SASH will pay $0 and receive a free solar installation. 3.1 Eligibility & Requirements Homeowners must first qualify for the SASH program. Homeowners that qualify for SASH automatically qualify to participate in the City s low-income R 3 rebate. The SASH program requires that Richmond residents satisfy the following two basic requirements: income and affordable housing Income Requirements Households must make less than 80% Average Median Income* or be a PG&E low-income qualified household under the CARE ratepayer. The 80% Median Income requirements are provided below: Household Size Annual Gross Income $46,050 $52,600 $59,200 $65,750 $71,050 $76,300 $81,550 $86,

5 3.1.2 Affordable Housing Requirements Participants must satisfy one of the two requirements to fulfill the affordable housing requirement. 1. Households must be located in the City s Enterprise Zone. Applicants are encouraged to use the City s map and address roster below to determine if their home is located in the City s Enterprise Zone. A map of the Enterprise Zone is provided on the following page. Enterprise Zone Map: E.pdf Enterprise Zone Address Roster: ZoneAddressRoster.pdf 2. Households may also be deemed as affordable housing as defined by California Public Utilities (P.U.) Code Section 2852, which is generally defined as a home that cannot be sold without restrictions on the real estate market. This can take many forms, which include the following: Single-family home has a resale restriction or an equity sharing agreement with a public entity or nonprofit affordable housing provider Single-family home is part of a multi-family complex supported by public funds to enable selling the home at an affordable cost to low-income families. Resale is restricted to selling the home to other low-income families Single-family home was purchased or renovated through a first time homebuyer program or home improvement loan program that uses state or federal HOME funding Other: Implicit resale restrictions - 4 -

6 Map of Richmond s Enterprise Zone: - 5 -

7 3.2 What forms do I need to complete? GRID Alternatives will qualify the homeowner to participate in the SASH program. After the homeowner qualifies for the SASH program, GRID Alternatives will guide the homeowner through the R 3 application process. The following documents must be submitted by GRID Alternatives to receive the R 3 rebate: R 3 Reservation Application Attachment A R 3 Service Agreement Form Copy of City electrical permit & inspection Copy of SASH contract & scope of work 3.3 Application Process The best way to be certain whether your home qualifies for a free solar installation is to contact GRID Alternatives. Phone: (866) or Website:

8 4. Rebate for Any Income Households The City of Richmond will be offering an R 3 rebate to all households in Richmond, regardless of income levels. Each project is required to have one third of the on-site work completed by a graduate of the City s green collar job training program RichmondBUILD. 4.1 Eligibility and Requirements The following are the basic eligibility requirements to participate in the R 3 program. Single family homes, townhomes and multifamily complexes that are owned by an individual and not a business entity are eligible for R 3. The property must be located within the City of Richmond. The R 3 Rebate are currently only being awarded for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Installations must be a minimum of one kilowatt (kw) and a maximum of ten kw. Published R 3 rebate rates may be reduced at any time prior to reservation confirmation. The R 3 Rebate amount is determined size of the solar system and the California Energy Commission s (CEC) system wattage. All households are required to have an energy efficiency audit conducted on their existing home before solar rebates are paid. 4.2 Any Income Rebate Levels The R 3 rebate provides a rebate that is based off of the expected power delivery of the solar installation. The expected power delivery is determined by the California Energy Commission s (CEC) online calculator that factors the size of the system and efficiency of the panels and invertors. R 3 will provide a rebate of $1.50 per CEC watt installed. 4.3 Additional Funding Opportunities Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the State s California Solar Initiative (CSI) rebate and the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to decrease the cost of installing solar. The State s CSI rebate provides an additional rebate similar to R 3. The IRS grants tax breaks to homeowners that install solar with the Federal Investment Tax Credit. Figure Funding diagram for solar installation

9 4.4 Application Process R 3 has a simple two phase application process. Phase I is the reservation phase. Phase II is the installation phase. Once the reservation phase has been completed, homeowners will have two months to complete Phase II. A detailed description of each step is provided below: Reservation Phase I Installation Phase II Step 1 Conduct an energy efficiency audit. Step 5 Obtain an electrical permit Step 2 Find an installer Step 6 Install Solar PV System Step 3 Submit R 3 reservation application Step 7 Inspection by Building Department Step 4 Receive R 3 reservation confirmation Step 8 Submit R 3 claim form Receive R 3 rebate check

10 Step 1 Conduct an Energy Efficiency Audit Making your home energy efficient before you install solar energy is essential to making your system as economical and efficient as possible. Energy-saving actions such as changing incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and replacing old, inefficient appliances are the best way to save energy and money while providing real, lasting benefits to the environment. Energy efficiency measures also help reduce the size of the solar system you need, saving you thousands of dollars in up-front installation costs. Participants are encouraged to look on the new statewide energy efficiency website for a comprehensive list of energy efficiency rebates and incentives: All households are required to have an energy efficiency audit conducted on their existing home before solar rebates application is submitted. Residents can fulfill this requirement by completing one of the following: a. Providing proof of completing PG&E s online SmartEnergy Analyzer. b. Providing proof of having completed an energy efficiency audit within the last two years. The CESC SmartSolar program provides a $200 rebate for audits for homes. Visit their website at call or to participate in their program. Step 2 - Find an Installer To qualify for the R 3 rebate, at least 1/3 of the on-site work must be completed by a RichmondBUILD graduate. Homeowners are strongly encouraged to hire contractors that are located in Richmond. It is highly recommended that the homeowner address this R 3 requirement with the contractor early on in the process. Licensed and experienced contractors are the key to getting the most productive solar energy system possible. Solar energy systems must be designed and installed in conformance with the manufacturer's specifications and with all applicable electrical and building codes and standards. All systems must be installed by appropriately licensed California contractors in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the State of California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB). Solar installation contractors must have an A, B, C-10 or a C-46 license for photovoltaic (PV) systems. The State of California provides a list of pre-qualified solar installers online at Searching for a solar installer by zip code is the fastest way to find a solar installer closest to you. Solar installers typically provide free site evaluations, comprehensive quotes and payback information. A list of solar installers located in Richmond is provided below: Company Name Phone Address Website Ally Electric and Solar Inc Barrett Avenue Clean Power Depot Inc S 42nd Street Creative Energy Corporation Regatta Blvd H-Ion Solar Inc Monterey Avenue Net Electric & Solar Cutting Blvd Suite C SunPower Corporation Harbour Way South Trillia Associates Quail Hill Lane

11 Step 3 Submit R 3 Reservation Application Typically, the solar installer will apply for R 3 incentives on the customer's behalf. The applicant must submit the following documents to the R 3 program. 1. A completed and signed R 3 application form (Attachment A) 2. A completed report from the California Solar Initiative's EPBB Incentive Calculator: (save and print the file from the website) 3. Proof of an energy efficiency audit Please be sure to double-check the eligibility and completeness of an application before submitting. Mail complete application package to: Attention: Richmond Recovery Rebate (R 3 ) Environmental Initiatives Division City Manager s Office 450 Civic Center Plaza Richmond, CA Step 4 Receive R 3 Reservation Confirmation City staff will review the application package and verify required documents for completeness and accuracy. If approved, the City will send an electronic and hard copy reservation letter confirming that funds are being reserved for two months to the homeowner and solar installer. If the application is not approved, the City will contact the installer and homeowner for necessary corrections to the application or supporting documents. An incentive reservation has a lifetime of two months from the date of the R 3 reservation letter. If a reservation expires, a new application must be submitted. Extensions may be granted to applicants that have pulled building permits and are in the installation process. Step 5 - Obtain an Electrical Permit As part of the installation process, your solar installer generally handles permits required by the City. Before installing a PV system, projects must apply for an electrical permit from the City s Building Department. If a permit is not pulled for the PV system, the City will not provide an R 3 rebate. Permit Center is located at: 450 Civic Center Plaza - 2 nd Floor Richmond, CA Mon Fri 8:30 am - 4:00 pm Phone: Website: Step 6 - Install Solar PV System Systems must be installed in conformance with the manufacturers specifications and with all applicable electrical and building codes and standards including California Electrical Code, article

12 Step 7 - Inspection by Building Department When the solar installation is complete, a building inspector from the City s Building Department will verify that the system conforms to building and safety codes. The building inspector will also verify that the system was installed as designed and specified in the original application and the equipment functions properly. After the solar system passes inspection, the solar system must remain in the off position. Turning the solar system on before the standard utility meter is replaced with a solar meter may cause billing errors and additional charges in the customer electric bill. The PV system will not be allowed to interconnect until PG&E replaces the old utility meter with a new Net-Meter capable of spinning and recording net energy in both directions. As soon as new utility meter is installed by PG&E, PG&E will send Letter of Interconnection authorizing customer to turn the solar system on. Step 8 - Submit R 3 Claim Form The City will process the R 3 claim form upon receipt of the following documents: 1. Copy of the R3 reservation confirmation 2. A signed copy of the R3 program agreement form 3. Copy of the electrical permit final inspection sign-off by City inspector 4. Copy of the itemized final sales invoice 5. A copy of the Permission to Operate notice from PG&E verifying interconnection of the system to the GRID 6. Payroll documentation proving that at least one third of on-site work was completed by a RichmondBUILD graduate 7. A copy of the CSI Approval of Incentive Payment from PG&E (if applicable) Step 9 - Receive Rebate Check The City of Richmond will respond within two weeks if additional information is needed. Customer will receive a rebate check within one month after submitting all the required R 3 program documents. Site inspections may be conducted for certain projects selected at random, or for non-typical projects, at the City s and or PG&E s discretion. If a site inspection is considered necessary, City staff will contact the parties to arrange a visit

13 5. Technical Requirements All PV systems must meet the technical requirements listed in California s Electrical Code Article 690 as described below: a. It is the intent of the R 3 Program to provide rebates for reliable, permanent, safe systems that are professionally installed, and comply with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations. The City will conduct final inspection and commissioning in order to verify that the project is installed as represented in the application, is operational, is interconnected, and conforms to the eligibility criteria of the R 3 Program. b. All installations are required to obtain the appropriate electrical permits (free) from the Building Department located at: 2 nd Floor of 450 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA Mon Fri 8:30 am - 4:00 pm. For more information, please call at or visit c. Size: The solar energy system must be between 1kW and 10 kw CEC-AC and intended primarily to offset part or all of the Customer s own electricity demand. Systems should be sized to produce no more than 100% of the Customer s average annual energy consumption as shown on the PG&E billing record for the three years previous to the issuance of the Reservation. (If the customer s account has less than three year history, the average will be calculated with available data.) d. Location: The PV system must be permanently installed on the same premises where the Customer s electricity demand is located e. Interconnection: The PV system must be connected to PG&E s electrical distribution GRID. f. Additional Requirements for Third Party Ownership (PPAs): For all customers procuring their PV system viewer Purchasing Agreement (PPAs) by Third-Party companies, the customer rebate rate shall apply. g. The PV system is intended to be operational and operated at the expected generation capacity for a minimum of 20 years. h. The lease provides Customer with reasonable assignment, transfer of ownership, or buyout option in the event the Customer property is sold before the end of the term. i. Eligible solar electric generating energy systems must be permanently interconnected to the electrical distribution GRID of the utility serving the customer s electrical load- PG&E. Portable systems are not eligible. The system interconnection must comply with applicable electrical codes and utility interconnection requirements. j. PV systems will not be allowed to operate until PG&E s Interconnection Agreement and Net Metering Agreement is fully executed (signed) by both customer and written authorization and clearance is provided by PG&E. Visit k. All components of the solar energy system must be new and unused and must not have been previously been placed in service in any other location or for any other application. l. All major solar energy system components, including PV modules, inverters, and meters must be included on the CEC s Eligible Equipment Lists, which may be found on the CEC website: m. All solar energy systems must have a minimum 10-year warranty provided in combination by the manufacturer and installer to protect the purchaser against defective workmanship, system or component breakdown, or degradation in electrical output of more than fifteen percent from their originally rated electrical output during the ten-year period. n. Installation: The solar energy system must be installed in conformance with the manufacturer s specifications and in compliance with all applicable electrical and building code standards. o. Meter Requirements: the R 3 program requires accurate energy production meters for all installations that receive City rebates. Accurate measurement of solar energy output is of

14 paramount importance to ensure optimum value for solar owners. A basic meter with accuracy of ±5 percent is required. Eligible meters are listed at the Go Solar California website Meters and service panels must meet all local building and utility codes. p. R 3 will perform random field inspections to verify system characteristics. 6. Frequently Asked Questions Where can I find an application and additional information about the R 3 program? All applications and program related materials can be found at the City s environmental webpage. Where can I find third party help to review the bids I receive from solar contractors? The non-profit Community Energy Services Corporation offers the free Smart Solar consultation to households considering going solar. Smart Solar offers the following services: - Independent advice on your property's solar potential - A FREE Solar Assessment of the best solar solutions for your needs - Objective analysis of your solar or energy efficiency project bids - Educational materials and tools to help you feel confident about your future investment - Assistance throughout your project, from proposal to installation Smart Solar Phone: Smart Solar Smart Solar Website: Who can be paid, and how? The R 3 payment may be made to any one of the parties identified on a solar installation project: Host Customer, Installer, or GRID Alternatives (the administrator of the low-income SASH program). It is up to the parties themselves to decide on a payee. Only the Host Customer can actually designate payment designation by signing the relevant signature boxes on the reservation application. Why am I asked to assign renewable energy credits to the City? The rebate program requires the System Owner to transfer ownership of a system s renewable energy credits (RECs) to the City. Assigning RECs to the City allows renewable power from the system to be accounted for at the whole city level, thereby contributing to the City of Richmond s overall greenhouse gas reduction goals. Who do I call if I have any questions? All program information is listed on the City s website. Questions may be submitted by to or by calling

15 7. Application & Instructions Please complete one application per residence for which rebates are sought. Section headings hereunder correspond to sections on the form. 1. CSI vs. non-csi projects If you are applying for a state rebate for your solar project through the CSI (including SASH), please check the box at the top of the application form and enter your CSI application number, which can be found on your CSI Confirmed Reservation Notice. If your solar project is not applying for CSI rebates, please check the appropriate box and complete the application as usual. 2. Installation site address Enter the street address of the property on which the solar installation is being performed. We ask for the parcel number to check the installation location, as street addresses may not always accurately identify a property. Parcel numbers can be found on the City s webpage R 3 Rebate Program Check the type of incentive you are applying for: any household or low-income household. The City s low-income rebate is available to households that qualify and participate in the SASH program. See the low-income applicants section on page 2 for details. 4. Host Customer Enter the name and contact information of the host customer. If property owner is different from Host Customer, enter the name of the property owner(s) as listed on the Title. This will help the City verify property ownership against the City s records. 5. Meter information Please provide information about the electrical meter. 6. Installer information Please provide information about your solar installer 7. Payment designation and signatures The Host Customer may choose to designate R3 payment by checking one of the boxes. All relevant signature boxes must be wet/original and completed on the same form. Relevant signatures are required even if the signatory is the same person. Designated payee signature The designated payee identified in the check box must sign and date to acknowledge any tax liability that might arise out of receiving the rebate payment. Please be sure to print clearly the name of the designated payee. If the designated payee is an organization, such as a company, then the person signing must also enter his/her name in the box below the name of the designated payee. GRID Alternatives In cases of households applying for the low-income rebate, the Host Customer may designate payment to GRID Alternatives, the administrator of SASH, the State s low-income solar rebate program

16 Attachment A Richmond Recovery Rebate (R 3 ) Reservation Application 1. Have you applied for a CSI rebate? Yes Please enter CSI Application No. PGE-CSI- No 2. INSTALLATION SITE ADDRESS Street address: Richmond, CA Zip: Property Parcel Number (from property tax bill): 3. R 3 REBATE PROGRAM (check one) Low-Income (SASH): Any Household: $1.50 per CEC watt 4. HOST CUSTOMER Contact name: Mailing address: Telephone: address: Name of property owner as listed on Title (if different from Host Customer listed above): Contact name: Mailing address: Telephone: address: 5. METER INFORMATION Meter connection for solar installation: Primary meter i.e., serving Host Customer Other meter Please describe: 6. INSTALLER INFORMATION Company name: Richmond Business License Number: Project Manager Name: Title (if applicable): Mailing address: Telephone: address: CITY USE ONLY Application no

17 Attachment A 7. PAYMENT DESIGNATION & SIGNATURES After all necessary documentation has been submitted to the City, the R 3 rebate payment will be sent to the host customer unless specified otherwise below. By signing below, I, the Host Customer, hereby designate my Richmond Recovery Rebate (R 3 ) to the party indicated below. I understand that it is my right to receive the rebate directly from the City and it is my decision to designate the R 3 rebate directly to the Installer or the non-profit GRID Alternatives. Designate R 3 rebate to following party: Host Customer Installer GRID Alternatives Host Customer Name (print): Host Customer Signature: Date: 8. WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENT By signing below, the Installer and Host Customer understand the following R 3 program workforce development requirements: - At least one third of the on-site solar PV installation work must be performed by a graduate from the City of Richmond s green collar job training program RichmondBUILD, and - The Installer must submit payroll documentation proving that one third of the on-site work was completed by RichmondBUILD graduate to receive an R 3 check, and - The solar PV installation is not eligible for an R 3 rebate if the aforementioned workforce development requirements are not met. Host Customer Name (print): Host Customer Signature: Date: Installer Name (print): Installer Signature: Date:

18 Attachment A R 3 Reservation Application Checklist The City has provided this checklist to ensure all required documents have been submitted.. Any income R3 Rebate Reservation Application must include: Completed R3 reservation application, including required original signatures Proof of home energy audit Copy of a completed report from the California Solar Initiative's EPBB Incentive Calculator (save and print the file from the website) Low income R3 Rebate Rebate Application must include: R3 Reservation Application Attachment A R3 Service Agreement Form Copy of City electrical permit & inspection Copy of proposed and final SASH contract & scope of work Mail application to: Attn: Adam Lenz R3 Solar Rebate Program City Manager s Office, 3rd Floor 450 Civic Center Plaza Richmond, CA Questions? If you have questions or require assistance, please the R3 team at or call

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