New Solar Homes Partnership - About NSHP

Program Overview

NSHP

The New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) program is part of the comprehensive statewide solar program, known as the California Solar Initiative, launched on January 1, 2007. The NSHP provides financial incentives and other support to builders, developers, and home-owners encouraging the construction of new energy efficient, solar homes.

The goal of the NSHP is to help create a self-sustaining solar market by incorporating high levels of energy efficiency and high-performing solar systems on new homes. The program seeks to achieve 400 MW of installed solar electric capacity throughout California in 10 years, with a $400 million program budget. You can learn more about the NSHP program activity and find a list of NSHP communities on the Go Solar California website.

The NSHP program is for new residential homes only. If the solar electric system will be serving an existing home or a commercial building, please apply for incentives through the California Solar Initiative (CSI) program.


Program Update

To track the available NSHP incentive budget, please view the updated waiting list and budget here.

On April 10, 2013, the CEC adopted the sixth edition of the NSHP guidebook which is in effect immediately and available  here.

Incentives

The NSHP provides an Expected Performance-Based Incentive (EPBI). The EPBI is determined by analysis using the California Energy Commission's PV Calculator (CECPV Calculator). The analysis accounts for equipment efficiency, design and installation factors like mounting type, orientation, tilt, and shading of the modules as well as the geographical location of the building.

The NSHP incentives will decline over the life of the program as pre-specified megawatt capacity has been reserved, with the program’s application process closing no later than December 31, 2016. You may track the current incentive level by visiting the NSHP trigger tracker.

The NSHP offers different types of incentives for market-rate, conventional housing and affordable housing projects.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for NSHP incentives the residential building and solar energy system must meet all program requirements.

Technology

Solar (Photovoltaic) energy system that achieves the direct conversion of sunlight to electricity is the only eligible technology. The system must be 1 kW AC (alternating current) or larger and located at the same site where the end-use customer’s electrical load is located.

System Ownership

Eligible solar energy systems may be purchased, leased by the end-use customer, or provide electricity to the end-use customer under a power purchase agreement (PPA).

Building Type

Solar energy systems must be installed in conjunction with the construction of a new residential building that are single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, condominiums, and other multifamily dwellings. To demonstrate this, the solar permit must be pulled prior to or no later than 180 days after the issuance of the occupancy permit. Total renovations and major remodels may qualify as long as the entire structure will complies with the current building requirements and meet the NSHP energy efficiency requirement.

Permanent Foundation

Eligible solar systems must be installed on newly constructed buildings permanently fixed to their foundation (as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development).

Energy Efficiency

Eligible solar energy systems must be installed on new buildings that have achieved energy efficiency levels of at least 15 percent beyond Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

  • Tier I – 15 percent reduction in the residential building's combined space heating, space cooling, and water heating energy compared to the Title 24 Standards in effect on the date the building permit was applied for.
  • Tier II – 30 percent reduction in the residential building's combined space heating, space cooling and water heating energy and 30 percent reduction in the residential building's space cooling (air conditioning) energy compared to the 2008 Title 24 Standards.

Grid Connected

Eligible solar energy systems must be permanently interconnected to PG&E's electrical distribution grid. Please work with PG&E's Generation Interconnection Services to complete the interconnection process prior to operating the solar energy system in parallel to the grid.

During the payment process, if the applicant submits a complete interconnection package and a complete incentive claim package on or before the NSHP reservation expiration date, the applicant is provided 90 days after the reservation expiration date to complete the Expected Performance‐Based Incentive (EPBI) Documentation, Energy Efficiency Documentation, and System Interconnection with Utility Grid.

System Components

All major system components, i.e. Photovoltaic modules, inverters, and meters, must be new and must not have been previously placed in service in any other location or for any other application. Equipment purchased or installed more than 24 months before applying for a reservation is not eligible. Please confirm that the major components of the system are on the CEC eligible equipment list for PV modules and inverters before commencing installation. In addition, all solar energy systems must be installed with a stand-alone performance meter or an inverter with a built-in performance meter so that the end-use customer can determine the amount of energy produced by the system.

System Size

Eligible solar energy systems must be sized to offsets part or all of the end-use customer's electrical load. Systems of 7.5 kW AC or less are considered to be sized appropriately to meet the electrical needs of an average California home. The maximum NSHP incentive paid for a system on single family residential unit is limited to the first 7.5 kW AC of the system. This cap does not apply to common area and virtual net metering projects.

System Performance

The incentive amount will be based on the estimated performance of the solar energy system, calculated using the CECPV Calculator. The estimated performance of the system will be the basis for qualifying for a reservation and for the final incentive amount. System installation should be consistent with the characteristics used to determine the estimated performance to receive the reserved amount.

System Installation

Solar energy systems must be installed by an appropriately licensed contractor, in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the California Contractors State License Board. Installation contractors must have an active A, B, C- 10, or a C-46 license. Owner-builders are allowed under the NSHP to install their own systems.

Field Verification

Solar energy systems must be third-party field-verified to ensure that the installation is consistent with the information used to determine the estimated performance and incentive amount. This also applies to the energy efficiency measures installed to exceed the Title 24 Standards. Field verification is completed consistent with the procedures found in the current Title 24 Standards by a certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater. Field verification for new housing developments may employ the sampling approach as allowed in the current Standards.

During the payment process, if the applicant submits a complete interconnection package and a complete incentive claim package on or before the NSHP reservation expiration date, the applicant is provided 90 days after the reservation expiration date to complete the Expected Performance‐Based Incentive (EPBI) Documentation, Energy Efficiency Documentation, and System Interconnection with Utility Grid.

Warranty Requirements

Solar energy systems must have a minimum ten-year warranty provided in combination by the manufacturer and installer to protect against defective workmanship, system or component breakdown or degradation in electrical output of more than 15 percent from the originally rated electrical output during the ten-year period. The warranty must cover the solar generating system only and provide for no-cost repair or replacement of the system or system components, including any associated labor during the warranty period.

Equipment Seller/Installer

To participate in the NSHP, companies that sell and/or install solar energy system equipment must be self-registered on the Energy Commission's Contractors, Installers, and Sellers Database.

Reservation Period

Projects will receive an 18‐month or 36‐month reservation, depending on the project type.

36-Month Reservation - The following projects are eligible for a 36‐month reservation period:

  • Solar as Standard: Developments of 6 or more residential dwelling units where the builder/developer has committed to installing solar energy systems on 50 percent or more of the dwelling units and that meet at minimum, the California Flexible Installation criteria, are eligible for a Solar as Standard reservation.38 This includes single‐family and multifamily projects.
  • Solar as an Option: The builder/developer offers solar energy systems as an option to residential home buyers.
  • Affordable Housing Projects: This includes affordable housing residential dwelling unit projects and affordable housing common area projects.

18-Month Reservation - The following projects are eligible for an 18‐month reservation period:

  • Custom homes.
  • Small developments/phases (under 6 residential dwelling units).
  • Projects where solar will be installed on less than 50 percent of the residential dwelling units.
  • Common areas of market‐rate residential developments.

Projects with valid, unexpired reservations as of January 1, 2010, were automatically granted a one‐time extension. No other time extensions will be granted.

However, during the payment process, if the applicant submits a complete interconnection package and a complete incentive claim package on or before the NSHP reservation expiration date, the applicant is provided 90 days after the reservation expiration date to complete the Expected Performance‐Based Incentive (EPBI) Documentation, Energy Efficiency Documentation, and System Interconnection with Utility Grid.

Before You Apply

Learn more about what's required before applying.

How to Apply

To participate in NSHP, follow these steps.

Contact Us

Mailing Address
PG&E Solar and Customer Generation - MC N7R
PO Box 7433
San Francisco, CA 94120

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

  • Ways To Pay
  • On-Bill Financing
  • Benchmark Your Building