Residential Solar

Install solar power on your home and lower your electric utility bills!   

Going solar is cheaper than ever and there is a 30% Federal tax credit to help make it more affordable.

You can either purchase your solar system or take advantage of a solar lease and pay monthly with little up-front cost.

Check out our new solar PV calculator to see if solar PV makes sense for your home!
Enter your address and monthly electric consumption to see the costs and benefits of adding solar to your Palo Alto home (
CPAU WattPlan calculator link).

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 our PV permitting web page.

Beginning November 14, 2016, new solar permit applicants should apply for a Net Energy Metering Reservation as soon as the purchase contract has been signed. For more information visit

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. Residential 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 Compensation Rate. To make an election, click here to download CPAU’s Net Surplus Electricity Election Form

Solar Resources for Residents

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2017