PV Partners

PV Partners Rebates 

Rebates are still available for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on multifamily and commercial sites (served by electric rates E-2, E-4, or E-7). You can make your reservation as soon as you have a signed contract to purchase and install the PV system. Once the reservation is approved you have 12 months to install your system (or 24 months for new construction). Funding is first-come, first-served so apply early to reserve funds for your project. 

Residential PV rebate funds were fully reserved in 2014. For information on residential solar click here  

The type of rebate payment is based on the PV system’s rated capacity in kilowatts- AC. If the system capacity is under 30 kW- AC, the rebate is paid as a single payment and is based on the system capacity rating. If the system is 30 kW-AC or larger, the rebate is paid monthly for 5 years as a performance based incentive which is calculated using the metered monthly PV energy production (measured in kilowatt-hours).
Click here for the complete PV Partners Program Guidebook (July 2014)


Customer Class 
 (Electric Rate)


 Remaining kW in Step

 Current Standard Rebate
 ($/watt) for <30kW - AC

 Current Performance Based Incentive
 ($/kWh) for ≥30kW AC

Small Commercial
(E-2 or E-4)

10 (Last Step)




 Note: On 9/23/15, the Large Commercial PV Partners rebates were fully reserved

How to Apply

CPAU’s version of PowerClerk is used to process PV Partners applications. This version is slightly different than the version used for the California Solar Initiative and requires CPAU’s approval of each user’s log in credentials.

Solar contractors may request a login password by sending an email to pvpartners@cityofpaloalto.org
Please include the following information with your request: Company name, mailing address, contact name, phone number, email address and the California contractor's license number, class and expiration date.

PV Partners Documents

Follow instructions in the PV Partners Program Guidebook (July 2014) to submit the PV Partners Rebate Reservation, along with the following attachments: PV Purchase Contract, CPAU Bill , Energy Audit, Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Disclosure with the Benchmarking report if applicable. For more information on benchmarking, visit Non-Residential Benchmarking Information.

Solar Permitting and Interconnection

The City of Palo Alto Utilities requires a permit for PV system installations and expansions. The PV permit process is described on this PV permitting web page.

You will need to complete, sign and submit the City of Palo Alto Utilities’ Net Metering and Interconnection Agreement when you install a new PV system, add to an existing PV system, or open a new CPAU account for a home with an existing PV system.

Net Energy Metering and Billing for Solar Customers

Net Metering is a special billing arrangement for City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) customers with an approved Photovoltaic System (PV) interconnection. CPAU shall read the electric meter monthly and issue a monthly electric charge or credit per the applicable electric rate. Commercial rates are located here.

Monthly billing for solar customers is described in CPAU’s Net Metering Billing Explanation.

Annual Settlement: If a customer’s PV system has generated more electricity in a year than is consumed, the customer should make an election to determine whether to carry the net surplus electricity forward into the next settlement year, or to cash out using the Net Surplus Electricity Rate. Click here for CPAU’s Net Surplus Electricity Explanation Form and Rate.

Net Energy Metering Aggregation

Net Energy Metering Aggregation is available for a single CPAU account holder with multiple electric accounts for the same parcel or adjacent parcels who wishes to share the net metering bill credits from a single solar power installation across their eligible accounts. There are additional monthly charges for net metering aggregation. Please see the NEM Aggregation Rate, NEM Aggregation Agreement and Rule 29 for terms and conditions.
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2016