May 9, 2023
The Haven team
In California, fire season is inevitable - even after a particularly wet winter. In fact, fire fighters have tackled more than 640 wildland fires this year alone.
According to the director and fire chief of the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, Joe Tyler, "It will only be a short matter of time before all of those fuels dry out, provide the fuel loading, and potentially have large and damaging wildfires."
It's important to be prepared, even if you've never confronted a wildfire. And there are a few things every homeowner can do to get prepared.
Regardless of whether you're in a high risk area for wildfires, creating an emergency supply kit and making an action plan are simple tasks you can tackle right away. There are also things you can do to give your house the best chance of surviving a wildfire, like home hardening and creating defensible space, as well as seasonal actions you can take year-round to stay safe. Read all about preparing for fire season in Cal Fire's excellent guide here.
During a wildfire, utility companies will issue public safety power shut-offs to protect the grid and prevent power lines from being damaged. While this is a necessary step, it can cause massive disruptions to people's lives. Fortunately, installing a home battery is a practical way to avoid blackouts, and right now it's more affordable than ever.
Through California's Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), there are sizable rebates available to homeowners for installing home energy storage. If you're eligible for a rebate through SGIP, it can dramatically change the cost of getting backup power. And you don't need solar to apply.
In 2020, California set aside $1 billion in SGIP funding to help incentivize home energy storage. Today, there's about 10% left, but funds are going fast. The sooner you apply, the more likely you are to get a share of funding.
Three ways SGIP helps homeowners:
For the general market, SGIP can shave off about 10-15% of your home battery's cost. This applies to households using PG&E, SCE, SDG&E, and SoCalGas.
Households in low-income communities can apply for the Equity rebate and possibly get 85% of their battery covered.
If your household has experienced public safety power shut-offs or if you live in an area of high fire risk, you may be eligible for the Equity Resiliency rebate, which could cover 100% of your battery cost.
Getting backup power is a practical way to prevent blackouts during fire season. And SGIP is making it a lot cheaper to do it. To find out if you're eligible for a rebate and to learn more about home battery storage, schedule a call with a Haven consultant.
We'll take care of everything - from choosing your battery and designing your system, to permitting, installation, and maximizing your savings through SGIP and other incentives. We'll also provide ongoing energy management and ways to save year-round. Let's talk.
Smith, H. (2 May, 2023). Wet winter may delay - but not deter - 2023 fire season. The L.A. Times. https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2023-05-02/wet-winter-may-delay-but-not-deter-2023-fire-season
Participating in Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). California Public Utilities Commission. https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/industries-and-topics/electrical-energy/demand-side-management/self-generation-incentive-program/participating-in-self-generation-incentive-program-sgip
Brenner, S. (Sept 16, 2020). What the wildfires tell us about the shortcomings of California's electric grid. UCLA. https://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/wildfires-california-electrical-grid-eric-fournier