Advancing Solar Energy Solutions for Our Customers

More than 40,000 PG&E customers are harnessing the power of the sun with photovoltaic systems connected to the electric grid.
California’s goal is to create 3,000 MW of new, customer-installed solar capacity by December 2016, moving the state toward a cleaner energy future and helping to lower the cost of solar installations for customers.

Through the California Solar Initiative (CSI), PG&E is helping to meet this goal by making solar more affordable for residential and commercial customers through rebates funded by a public purpose program charge in customers’ rates. In 2009, we interconnected more than 9,200 customer-owned solar power systems to the electric grid. Our industry-leading total has surpassed 40,000 interconnected solar systems.


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2009 Resultsmore...

Last year, PG&E distributed more than $185 million in rebates for 94 MW of completed residential and commercial solar installations. Our customers accounted for more than half of the total applications submitted in California (see chart below). In 2009, PG&E also exceeded its target for processing solar applications in a timely fashion. Through CSI, PG&E has the potential to provide approximately $950 million in solar rebates to our customers over a ten-year period.

2009 California Solar Initiative Applications by Program Administer

Annual PG&E Interconnected Customer Solar Systems

Offering Trainingmore...

PG&E offered more than 100 solar classes to customers last year, including courses held in partnership with cities and counties such as San Mateo, Belmont, Sonoma and San Francisco. The courses—available in classroom and online—reached more than 5,000 customers and ranged from solar power basics to inspecting solar systems for code compliance.

Looking forward, we will continue to enhance the courses, leveraging the important customer feedback we have received. We plan to offer the courses more frequently, enhance outreach to interested customers and focus more on the integration of solar with energy efficiency and other demand-side management options.

Bringing Solar Solutions to Underserved Communitiesmore...

Last year, PG&E also began offering a new solar incentive program for multifamily low-income customers, bringing solar solutions to underserved communities with rebates funded through customers’ rates. The program also introduced new “virtual” net energy metering, which allocates solar generation credits from one system to multiple electric accounts at the same site, enabling a group of tenants to benefit from one solar installation.

Earning Recognitionmore...

In the Solar Electric Power Association’s annual top ten solar integration rankings, PG&E earned the number one ranking for total solar MW. The rankings were based on 2008 data and recognize PG&E’s aggressive contracting for utility-scale solar generation, as well as the number and capacity of customer-side interconnections for new solar systems.

On the Horizon for 2010more...

In 2010, PG&E began administering a new program for solar-powered water heaters, awarding up to $300 million in customer incentives over eight years. Through the program, PG&E will provide incentives for new and existing homes and businesses. As with the existing California Solar Initiative, the rebate amounts will decline over time to provide an incentive for customers to participate early.