Photovoltaic Partners Program

Find out more at https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/utl/residents/sustainablehome/pvpartners_no_500.asp  Palo Alto electric utility customers can get rebates and installation assistance from our award-winning solar energy incentive program---PV Partners.  We encourage high quality photovoltaic installations (solar electric) on Palo Alto homes and businesses in support of the statewide Million Solar Roofs Initiative.

PV Partners provides rebates based on the system size, measured in watts of newly installed PV systems. PV Partners offers rebates at the levels below, based on customer type.  

Curious about how many PV solar systems have already been installed in Palo Alto? Click here.
Free Solar Power 101 Workshop
This workshop will review how solar electric (photovoltaic) systems work, the environmental benefits of solar, the financial alternatives, and how to pursue a project for your own home. Learn about the City's PV Partners rebate program and how to take advantage of Federal solar tax credits. To maximize workshop benefits, participants are encouraged to check their own electric energy use (average monthly kilowatt-hours and cost) prior to the workshop.
 
Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Time: 9:30 a.m. to Noon
Location: Lucie Stern Community Room
Instructor: Doug McKenzie, SunWork Renewable Energy Projects
Fee: None, but reservations are required due to space limitations. Register online or call (650) 329-2241 to reserve your spot today.

Although Palo Alto’s electric supply is now carbon neutral, it still makes a lot of sense to consider a solar system for your home or business
. Your local solar PV system will deliver big benefits both to our community and to you personally.

Benefits when you install a solar system:

  • On top of knowing you’re making a big difference to the environment, you also still get the personal benefit of money savings from reduced electric charges on your utilities bill!
  • You help reduce the environmental costs for new transmission lines to bring energy from remote generators.
  • You help reduce the amount of renewable energy the City must buy for the community, and since all renewable energy sources have some environmental impact (wind and birds, solar and desert tortoises, etc.), using less power from ANY energy facility reduces our impact on the environment.
  • You help reduce peak demand on hot summer afternoons for the entire statewide energy system. That means not turning on older, inefficient and polluting generators often needed to meet that peak demand. Even though Palo Alto doesn’t buy this “brown” energy, others in the state do and so not having to turn those generators on is an environmental plus for all Californians.

If you are interested in CPAU's Palo Alto CLEAN program (Feed In Tariff for non-net metered PV installations), check it out here.

Getting a good contractor is important!  Especially if you were cold called or had someone show up at your door, you may feel unsure if a solar contractor is on the up and up.  Check out our Solar 101 basic presentation here and note slide 49 about selecting a contractor.


PV PARTNERS UPDATE: CPAU is now using PowerClerk to process PV Partners applications. Please email pvpartners@cityofpaloalto.org to request your login password. 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. Once you have your login, you can start your application at: https://cpau.powerclerk.com/

Changes for Solar Electric (PV) Customers: Net Surplus Electricity Options: There is a new way for credits will be given out to residents whose systems produce more energy over a year than the residents consume in their homes. Look here for more information on this change.

Current Rebate Levels - 4/8/2014

 Customer Class (Electric Rate)

 Current Step

 Remaining kW in Step*

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

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

 Residential (E-1)

 12

167

 $0.80 

 N.A.

 Small & Medium Commercial (E-2, E-4)

 8

 82

 $1.60

 $0.20

 Large Commercial (E-7)

 9

41

 $1.40

$0.18

*After the remaining kW in this current step is depleted, the rebate will drop to the next rebate step (not shown on chart).  If your project is larger than the remaining kW amount in the current step, your rebate will be prorated across the subsequent steps.  For a more complete explanation of how the rebate steps work, please refer to the PV Partners Guidebook.

Non-Profit and Public Sector applicants may apply for PV Partners incentives using either of the two commercial categories: Small and Medium Commercial for accounts on rate schedule E-2 or E-4 or large Commercial for accounts on rate E-7.

Permits

Residential Solar PV permits can now be reviewed over the counter by appointment. Find out the permitting process for your system and get all related contacts and documents on our web page.

Testimonials

Last Updated: Apr 8, 2014