CSI—Metering and Performance Monitoring

Currently incentive applications for systems greater than 30 kW (CEC-AC) are required to participate in the Performance Based Incentive Program.

Overview and Summary of Metering and Monitoring Requirements

Description

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requires that all PV systems receiving an incentive through the California Solar Initiative install a meter to record the output of the PV generator. The CPUC further requires customers to pay for 5 years of data communication and performance monitoring and reporting services (PMRS), subject to certain cost caps.

Performance Monitoring and Reporting Service (PMRS): Service from a provider which allows the system owner to monitor and evaluate the performance of their solar system, usually via a website.

Performance Data Provider (PDP): Service provider that monitors and reports the energy production data of the solar system to the Program Administrator. This data serves as the basis for the monthly PBI* payments. (May or may not be the same entity as the PMRS provider). Non-utility providers must first be listed as an eligible PMRS provider.

*Performance Based Incentives (PBI): Monthly incentive payments based on recorded kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar power produced over a five-year period. Solar projects receiving PBI incentives will be paid a flat per kWh payment monthly for PV system output that is serving on Site load. The monthly PBI incentive payment is calculated by multiplying the incentive rate by the measure kWh output. System sized at 30 kW or greater must apply for the PBI Incentive.

Value of Performance Monitoring and Reporting Service (PMRS)

  • Allows customers to monitor and evaluate the production of their PV system ensuring greatest return on investment and highest value to rate payers.
  • Provides customers access to real time data which helps them understand the effects of external forces such as weather conditions.
  • Allows customers to respond more rapidly to any performance issues.

Summary of Requirements

Please refer to the table below for a summary of metering and monitoring requirements and refer to the California Solar Initiative Handbook for complete details on requirements and exemptions.

Incentive Type/
System Size (CEC-AC)
5% Meter2% MeterPMRSPDP
EPBB < 10 kWRequiredOptionalOptionalN/A
EPBB ≥ 10 kWRequiredOptionalRequiredN/A
PBI (All Systems)N/ARequiredRequiredRequired

EPBB Requirements

All systems receiving an EPBB incentive must have a meter with an accuracy of +/- 5% or better. The inverter integrated meter may be used, if the minimum accuracy is met. For systems receiving an EPBB incentive, PMRS is required unless the system is less than 10 kW.

CSI Documentation Requirements

  • If PMRS is purchased, must be indicated on the Incentive Claim Form.

PBI Requirements

All systems receiving the PBI incentives must install a separate, standalone Interval Data Recording meter or equivalent with an accuracy of +/- 2 percent. All systems receiving a PBI incentive are required to have PMRS.

A list of eligible system performance meters and Performance Monitoring and Reporting Service (PMRS) Providers can be found on the GoSolarCalifornia website. This list does not include inverter integrated meters.

To ensure compliance with utility electric service requirements, compatibility between meter and data communication/ performance monitoring services, and to minimize costs, customers should decide which equipment and service providers they will use before the system is installed. It's best for customers to discuss these options with their solar vendors, integrators or solar contractors early in the design phase of their PV systems. Performance meters need to be fully installed and functioning at the time of the Incentive Claim submittal.

CSI Documentation Requirements

  • PMRS and PDP information must be indicated on the Incentive Claim Form; and
  • A copy of the executed contract for a PDP; or
  • A letter from the PDP stating the Host Customer has purchased its service.

Whichever document is submitted must clearly identify the PDP information, including the name of the PDP, the product or service purchased, the term of the agreement and the address of the associated solar energy system site. A separate contract for PMRS is not required, if the same company is providing both the PMRS and PDP services as long as the contract specifies they are providing services that satisfy both requirements.

List of PDPs Eligible in PG&E’s Service Territory (PDF, 61 KB)

Application Process to Become a PDP

All PDP applicants must first be listed as an eligible PMRS provider on the Go Solar California site. Once listed, the applicant shall submit the Application to Provide PDP Services to each Program Administer (PA) where they wish to provide service. The PDP must demonstrate to the PA’s satisfaction that they are able to perform all duties of a PDP. Please refer to the CSI Data Transfer Rules section in the CSI Program Handbook for a detailed list of requirements. PG&E established PDP Guidelines (PDF, 309 KB) which outline rules and responsibilities a PDP must adhere to as a CSI program participant.

Contact Us

Email
solar@pge.com

Phone
Solar Customer Service Center 1-877-743-4112

Mailing Address
PG&E Solar and Customer Generation - CSI
PO Box 7433
San Francisco, CA 94120

Street Address (for overnight deliveries)
PG&E Solar and Customer Generation - CSI
245 Market St., MC N7R
San Francisco, CA 94105-1797