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Pasadena Water & Power

  • PSI Eligibility and Requirements


    1. All PWP electric customers are eligible for PSI program incentives. An "electric customer" is any consumer who receives electrical energy service from PWP under Pasadena Municipal Code Section 13.04 (“Customer”).
    2. Currently only solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are eligible for PSI incentives.
    3. Customers must first obtain PSI application approval from PWP before applying for a building permit for a solar installation. After the application is reviewed and approved by PWP, funds will be reserved for a limited time, depending on the type (retrofit or new construction) of solar installation.
    4. A separate PSI application is required for each PWP electric account/service/meter.
    5. Non-Profit entities must include in their application a certification under penalty of perjury from their chief financial officer or equivalent that they are a Non-Profit entity, proof of a Section 501 (c) (3), and that the system is not receiving and will not in the future receive federal tax benefits through financial arrangements for the entire warranty period of the system (i.e., the System Owner if a third-party, which will be receiving tax benefits from the system).
    6. Additonal requirments for Low Income Solar Incentive are Listed Here 
    7. Rebate amounts are calculated based on system performance in CEC-AC Watts (not capacity), which is influenced by factors such as equipment type, shading, orientation, system size, location and angle.
    8. Published rebate Incentive levels may be reduced at any time prior to application approval.
    9. Payment Assignment: Customer may agree to assign the PSI incentive payment to a third party by completing the PSI Payment Assignment Form.
    10. All PV systems must meet the technical requirements listed in Public Resource Code Section 25782 and described in the next section below, "Technical Requirements."


    All PV systems must meet requirements listed herein and Public Resource Code Section 25782 to qualify for the PSI: 

    A. Solar System Size, Location, and Ownership Requirements 

    • System Size: The solar energy system must be between 1kW and 1,000 kW CEC-AC and intended primarily to offset part or all of the Customer’s own electricity demand. Systems should be sized to produce no more than 100% of the Customer’s average annual energy consumption as shown on the PWP billing record for the three years previous to the issuance of the Reservation. If the customer’s account has less than three year history, the average will be calculated with available data.
    • New or Expanded Facility: Applications with new or expanded sites with no electric bill history or where the existing electric bill does not reflect the customer’s expected expanded consumption, the application must include an estimate of the expected expanded consumption. Suggested methods of demonstrating load growth include building simulation program reports such as eQUEST, EnergyPro, and DOE-2; Title 24 energy modeling report (including ECON-1 sheet). The PSI Program Manager will request copies of building permits for the new construction or expansion.
    • Added PV Capacity: Solar systems installed under previous Solar Program qualify for additional solar capacity under PSI. New application is required and current PSI requirements will apply.
    • Location: The PV system must be permanently installed on the same premises where the Customer’s electricity demand is located
    • Interconnection: The PV system must be connected to PWP’s electrical distribution grid.
    • Ownership: The customer may lease the PV system or purchase its output from a third-party PV system owner/operator/installer. Please see “Additional Requirements for Third Party Ownership”

    B. Additional Requirements for Third Party Ownership (PPAs and Leases)

    For all customers, except residential, procuring a PV system under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPAs) by Third-Party companies, the Commercial customer PBI rate shall apply (including non-profit customers).

    1. The PV system is intended to be operational and operated at the expected generation capacity for a minimum of 20 years.
    2. The lease or power purchase agreement (“PPA”) has a minimum initial term of 10 years
    3. The lease or PPA provides the Customer an option to either (i) renew the lease or PPA for a minimum 20 year cumulative term; and/or (ii) purchase the system at the end of the lease or PPA term.
    4. The lease or PPA provides Customer with reasonable assignment, transfer of ownership, or buyout option in the event the Customer property is sold before the end of the term.

    C. Interconnection to the Electric Utility Distribution System

    Eligible solar electric generating energy systems must be permanently interconnected to the electrical distribution grid of the utility serving the customer’s electrical load. Portable systems are not eligible. The system interconnection must comply with applicable electrical codes and utility interconnection requirements.

    D. Solar Energy System Components and Warranty 

    All components in the solar energy system must be new and unused and must not have been previously been placed in service in any other location or for any other application.

    All major solar energy system components, including PV modules, inverters, and meters must be included on the CEC’s Eligible Equipment Lists, which may be found on the Go Solar California website.  

    All solar energy systems must have a minimum 10-year warranty provided in combination by the manufacturer and installer to protect the purchaser against defective workmanship, system or component breakdown, or degradation in electrical output of more than fifteen percent from their originally rated electrical output during the ten-year period.

    E. Installation

    The solar energy system must be installed in conformance with the manufacturer’s specifications and in compliance with all applicable electrical and building code standards.

    For information about PWP’s rules and regulations for electrical design and installation, please read about Regulation 21. For installations larger than 10 kW AC, rules and regulations governing Regulation 23 (Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements) may apply.

    All installations are required to obtain the appropriate building permits from Department of Planning and Development located at 175 N. Garfield Ave, Pasadena CA 91101. For more information, please call at 626-744-6646 or visit the Permit Center.

    F. Utility AC Manual Disconnect

    PWP requires an AC Utility Manual Disconnect Switch with visible break switch contacts that are lockable in the open position within eight (8) feet from the Customer Service Equipment that functions as the Point of Connection to the electric utility.

    The Utility AC Manual Disconnect Switch shall be readily accessible to the Utility at all times and located immediately adjacent to the Customer Service Equipment that functions as the Point of Connection to the electric utility.

    The purpose of the Utility AC Manual Disconnect Switch is to provide a separation point between the solar system and the Utility Electric Distribution System. The Utility AC Manual Disconnect Switch shall be used to isolate the PV system ONLY during operational conditions in order to safeguard utility personnel.

    The Utility AC Manual Disconnect Switch should be installed upstream of the solar system and it must be able to electrically disconnect the entire solar system including the performance meter. AC Manual Disconnect Switch must be permanently marked to identify it as a Utility AC Manual Disconnect Switch.

    If the location of the AC Manual Disconnect Switch cannot be installed within eight (8) feet from the Point of Connection to the electric utility, its location must be approved at the discretion of the Utility. All questions regarding the location of the Utility AC Manual Disconnect will be directed to the Utility Service Planning Department at (626) 744-4495.

    G. Meter Requirements

    The PSI Program requires accurate energy production meters for all installations that receive PSI Incentives. Accurate measurement of solar energy output is of paramount importance to ensure optimum value for solar owners.

    PWP requires a performance meter (Utilitiy Grade Single Socket (SS) 4 clip) in all solar installations.  Performance meter must be supplied and installed by the solar contractor/installer.

    For solar electric generating systems receiving an EPBB Incentive, a basic meter with accuracy of ±5 percent is required. Eligible meters are listed at the Go Solar California website. 

    For systems receiving PBI payments, regardless of system size, are required to purchase performance meter(s) from a vendor or distributor approved by Pasadena Water and Power’s meter section. PWP may require additional meter functionality requirements to monitor large solar systems.

    Meters and service panels must meet all local building and utility codes.

    PWP will replace the existing utility meter with a solar net meter after the system passes PWP Field Inspection and before the system is authorized to connect to the grid at no cost to the customer.

    H. Maximizing Solar Generation

    PSI provides financial incentives for high quality solar installations with maximum system performance during periods of peak electric demand.

    All solar installations are required to submit shading analysis reports generated by a shading analysis tool such as the Solar Pathfinder or the SolmetricEye.

    For all solar systems, the applicant is required to input monthly shade impact results from a shading study conducted at the proposed system site. These inputs are used as monthly derate factors (100% = no shading, 0% = total shading) to adjust the PV Watts output for shading. The shade analysis tool must be specific to the location, azimuth and tilt of the system being measured and must correct for magnetic declination.

    For rectangular areas, a minimum of four (4) shading measurements must be taken, one at each corner. For irregular areas, a shading measurement is taken at each corner.

    For more information about proper shading input requirements, please refer to Section 7 “Shading Input Requirements” in the CSI Incentive Calculator User Guide.

    It is the intent of the PSI Program to provide incentives for reliable, permanent, safe systems that are professionally installed, and comply with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations.

    PWP performs a final inspection and commissioning for all solar installations in order to verify that the project is installed as represented in the application and conforms to the eligibility criteria of the PSI Program.

    I. Energy Efficiency Audits

    All existing residential and non-residential customers are required to have an energy efficiency audit conducted of their existing home or building before solar incentives are paid.

    Residential customers can fulfill this requirement by providing proof of completing the Home Energy Calculator.

      Commercial customers must contact their PWP Account Manager, who will assist commercial customers to fulfill the audit requirement.


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

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