Utilities News

Palo Alto City Council Approves Changes to Solar Program

Current Net Energy Metering program is extended through December 31, 2017

Click here to view and share our e-newsletter with this information.

If you are currently considering rooftop solar, you may be interested in the following information regarding the City's Net Energy Metering (NEM) program. The Palo Alto City Council voted on Monday, December 11 to extend eligibility for the City’s current NEM program to all solar applicants through December 31, 2017. Through this program, solar customers receive retail credit for electricity their system exports to the utility grid.

The City had planned to transition to a NEM Successor program when cumulative solar installations reached a total of 10.8 megawatts (MW). Due to widespread solar adoption, the City was quickly approaching that point and anticipated the transition to occur before the end of the year. Now the current NEM program eligibility will be extended through December 31. If the City does not reach the 10.8 MW capacity prior to the end of the year, the current NEM program will extend into 2018, until that capacity is reached.

For customers who have already installed solar and are currently enrolled in the NEM program:

  • This rule change has no effect on your rates, and no action is required on your part. All utility customers who installed solar before November 14, 2016 were automatically enrolled in NEM. Any installations after this date were required to go through a NEM reservation process to enroll in the program.


For customers who have applied for the NEM reservation but have not yet completed and been approved for final solar interconnection with the City:

  • The window of time in which customers need to complete their interconnection agreement with the City and be approved for the current NEM program has been extended from six to twelve months from the date of the customer’s NEM reservation approval. No further action is required on your part.
  • Please note that if you had previously submitted a NEM Reservation which expired prior to December 12, 2017, this automatic extension does not apply to you. You will need to submit a new NEM reservation application.


We are here to help you with your solar needs and answer any of your questions!

If you would like to learn more about solar in Palo Alto and the current NEM or NEM Successor programs, please visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/solar or www.cityofpaloalto.org/nemreservation Please do not hesitate to contact us at (650) 329-2241 or UtilityPrograms@cityofpaloalto.org with any questions.

Last Updated: Mar 25, 2015
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