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Pasadena Water & Power

  • The sun produces free, limitless energy that can power Pasadena with zero emissions. The Pasadena Solar Initiative (PSI) is PWP’s commitment to a sustainable energy future through the promotion of renewable solar power. Solar House 

    Through rebates, additional incentives and education, the Pasadena Solar Initiative aims to help its customers install 14 MW of solar power by 2017. The Initiative will advance the City of Pasadena's renewable goals outlined in its Green City Action Plan.  

    Installing a solar energy system is a complicated decision.  We’ve assembled some resources to help you decide if solar is right for your property.  

    Solar Information

    Installing Solar is a big investment.  If you are considering adding a solar energy system to your home to generate electricity it is important to consider the size of the system, the return on your investment, the difference between a leased and owned system and more.  Take a moment to read Solar Power for your Home to help you explore the various options and help you make a well-informed decision.  

    Financial Assistance

    With a new solar PV system, PWP electric customers can earn PWP solar rebates, federal tax credits, net surplus compensation and, of course, lower energy bills. Here’s how:

    PWP Rebates
    PWP cuts the cost of your solar system by offering incentives based on your system size. You can choose a lump-sum rebate paid by the watt or a performance-based rebate paid over two years based on the kilowatt hours your system produces. Find full details here.  

    Tax Credits
    You can also earn a federal tax credit of up to 30% of your system cost. The benefit applies to both residential and business solar installations. Click here to learn more about Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency and read this list of frequently asked questions.

    Net Surplus Energy Compensation
    If your solar system produces more energy than your home or business needs, this “surplus” energy flows to the city’s power grid and PWP will reimburse you for the cost. Find all the details here.

    Lower Bills
    By tapping into the free power of the sun, your solar PV system will help cut your reliance on energy from PWP – and lower your monthly energy bills. While your solar energy system may produce enough energy to cover your consumption, you will still receive a bill from PWP that are necessary to pay for metering and infrastructure that is required to power your property with your solar energy system isn’t producing energy. You will notice a decrease on the energy portion of your bill, but as long as you are connected to PWP’s electric grid, you will continue receiving a bill. 

    Make Your Property Efficient

    Making your home or business facility energy efficient before you install solar energy is essential to making your system as economical and efficient as possible.

    Energy efficiency measures also help reduce the size of the solar system you need, saving you thousands of dollars in up-front installation costs.

    In order to receive a solar rebate an “Energy Efficiency (EE) Audit/Assessment Report” is required. 

    • Residential customers can fulfill this requirement by completing and submitting a copy of the report from the Energy Advisor.   
    • For non-residential customers, an EE audit of the facility is required. Customer or facility staff may complete the EE Assessment report or hire a third-party company for assistance.

    Finding an Installer

    Go Solar California has an online database to help you find an installer. While PWP does not certify or recommend PV equipment manufacturers or installers this resource may help you narrow down your list of installers. Search for an installer today.   

    Things to consider:

    • PWP strongly suggests hiring an experienced licensed solar contractor to design and install solar systems. Licensed and experienced contractors are the key to a successful installation and optimal solar generation.
    • Typically, the solar installer will apply for PSI incentives on the customer's behalf, apply for local permits, and arrange for the solar system to be interconnected to the utility power grid.
    • Solar installers typically provide free site evaluations, comprehensive quotes and payback information. 
    • PWP recommends evaluation at least three different contractors and consider doing the following:
      • Check the status of Contractor License at www.cslb.ca.gov. License must be an active A, B, C-10, or C-46 in order to meet the eligibility requirements for the PSI Program. 
      • Check references. One of the most reliable sources for business references is the Better Business Bureau (BBB)  
      • Examine customer feedback. Conduct internet searches, talk to those who may have used this contractor, etc. in an effort to find out as much information as possible
    • Installers must be familiar with PWP's rules and regulations for electrical design and installation (Regulation 21) and Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements (Regulation 23 - PDF document) including metering requirements.
    • All systems must be installed by appropriately licensed California contractors in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the State of California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB). Solar installation contractors must have an A, B, C-10 or a C-46 license for photovoltaic (PV) systems.
    • Solar energy systems must be designed and installed in conformance with the manufacturer's specifications and with all applicable electrical, building, and fire codes and standards.

    Installer Instructions

    PWP greatly appreciates the expertise and assistance of our local solar installers in Pasadena.  We’re here to help!  

    The links below provide detailed information on Pasadena’s solar PV system requirements. If you have questions at any time, please call (626) 744-6970 or email solar@cityofpasadena.net. 

    To get started, please complete, sign and submit the PowerClerk Access Request Form to participate in the Pasadena Solar Initiative and then read through the information below:

    Consistent with California Public Utilities Code §2827(c)(1), PWP offers eligible customer-owned generators the Net Energy Metering (NEM) rate under PWP’s Electric Rate Schedule. The PSI program is offered on a first-come-first-served basis until the total rated generating capacity used by the eligible customer-owned generators exceeds 5% of PWP’s system peak demand. PWP uses its five-year average system peak demand (307 MW) as the basis for its program NEM cap (15.35 MW).

    As of June 30, 2017, PWP has an installed and committed funds for a NEM capacity of approximately 9.8 Megawatts or 3.2% of the system peak demand of 307 Megawatts. 


    Additional Resources

    Resources for Homeowners

    Information for Installers

     Solar Resources - Federal & State Government

    * This site is maintained by the California Energy Commission and may not include the most current information on the PSI Program or PWP's electric rates.

     Comments & Questions

    If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions regarding the Pasadena Solar Initiative, please call 626-744-6970 or write to solar@cityofpasadena.net.   


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