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Hey San Diego, want to go solar cheap? Hurry up!

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Sullivan Solar Power launched the second round of its San Diego Solar Program, part of an effort to add 3 megawatts of residential solar throughout the county. Under the second round of rebates, homeowners can qualify for up to $1,500 in rebates from Sullivan in addition to rebates offered by the utility, state and federal government. Bottom line—get ‘em while they’re cheap! 

The rebates are being offered directly from Sullivan as an installer and are compatible with the company’s lease and power purchase agreement offerings, according to Sullivan spokesperson Erica Johnson. “It’s over $800,000 that our company is providing for incentives in the community,” she said. “We’ve never done something for the entire county of San Diego which is massive.” However, the company has offered a total of $500,000 in rebates for smaller incentive programs. 

The first round of rebates covered 500 kilowatts of installations. Homeowners who qualified for that round of rebates, could receive up to $2,500 in rebates. That round dried up within two months of launching. 

Under the current round of rebates, Sullivan will give customers rebates of 30 cents per watt, down from 50 cents per watt in the first round. However, the offering will cover 1 megawatt of residential installations. “We expect that by the end of August this second phase of funding will be reserved,” Johnson said. “We are expecting it because word is spreading so fast, and it’s really busy season right now. We’re expecting more residents to sign up each week.” 

The company will take a loss to it’s business in the San Diego marketplace, but viral and word-of mouth marketing, will help Sullivan reduce its marketing for the campaign, Johnson said. “Viral marketing really allows us to cut back on marketing costs. More people are telling friends about it,” she said. 

While consumers can opt to pay out of pocket for the systems, Sullivan also offers power-purchase agreements through Clean Power Finance or SunPower, depending on homeowners’ solar resources. Those with lower solar resources are more likely to get a SunPower system, since they are more powerful and integrated with microinverters. 

If you can’t qualify until after August, Sullivan also is offering a third round of rebates, for an additional 1.5 megawatts of installations. However, the rebate level will fall to 20 cents per kilowatt hour. Which is still in addition to the 20 cents per watt that customers will receive from San Deigo Gas & Electric. 

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