The California Solar Initiative pays solar consumers their incentive either all-at-once for smaller systems, or over the course of five years, for larger systems. The program's two incentive payment types are:Expected Performance-Based Buy-Down, or EPBB:
In 2008-9, systems smaller than 50kW in capacity can receive a one-time, up-front incentive based on expected performance, and calculated by equipment ratings and installation factors (geographic location, tilt and shading). EPBB payments are provided on a $ per watt basis. EPBB is available for systems under 30 KW after 2010. Systems eligible for EPBB can choose to opt-in to the PBI system described below.
Performance Based Incentive, or PBI:
As of January 1, 2008, all systems over 50 kW must take the PBI, and by 2010 all system over 30 kW must be on PBI. Any sized system can elect to take PBI. The PBI pays out an incentive, based on actual kWh production, over a period of five years. PBI payments are provided on a $ per kilowatt-hour basis.