Installing and connecting your renewable energy system
Follow this guide to installing and connecting your system
Your contractor handles most of the steps necessary to install and connect a solar or renewable energy system to PG&E's electric grid. However, as a property owner or business manager, it’s wise to play an active role. Understanding key steps helps you set expectations and communicate more effectively with your contractor.
Steps to ensure the smooth installation of a renewable energy system
Find a contractor and prepare your property
Start with the PG&E Business Energy Checkup. This energy-efficiency audit provides key information about your current energy usage and helps you make choices that reduce your overall electricity and water consumption. Ensure that your property is energy-efficient. The efficiency can save you money by reducing the size of the renewable energy system that is installed.
Visit Business Energy Checkup
We offer resources and tips to help you locate experienced contractors in your area. Use our search tool to find the right contractor who meets your needs and budget.
Visit Find a Contractor
Prepare your Interconnection Agreement
When you and your contractor identify the appropriate renewable energy system to match your business’ needs, the contractor fills out an Interconnection Agreement application to connect your system to the PG&E electric grid. Your contractor processes the paperwork, and you must sign the agreement.
Keep the following guidelines in mind when creating your Interconnection Agreement:
- Select a new rate schedule or keep your existing rate schedule. Talk with your contractor or PG&E about the best option for your business. Check out our rates.
- Learn about our incentive rate programs, and ask your contractor whether you qualify for rebates.
Visit PG&E Incentives for Clean Energy
- Maintain your timeline. Ensure that your contractor fills out the Interconnection Agreement application early so that you can start generating energy shortly after passing local city or county inspections.
Have your system installed
Your contractor ensures that your energy system is delivered and installed at your property. Speak with your contractor before installation to choose a delivery date and request a time estimate for completion. Installation typically takes a few days to a few weeks, depending on the condition of your property or system.
Have your system inspected
Your renewable energy system must pass city or county inspections for safety and code compliance so that you can obtain a final building permit. Your contractor is in charge of scheduling the inspections with building officials. Time frames depend on the city or county. To avoid delays, ensure that your contractor arranges the building permit and schedules the inspections well in advance.
For safety reasons, keep your system turned off until you receive official permission to operate from PG&E.
Receive permission to operate your system
Your contractor submits all required paperwork to PG&E, including the Interconnection Agreement application, a line diagram of the system and a copy of the final building permit. When approved, PG&E upgrades your meter and sends you official permission to operate.
Include your email address on the Interconnection Agreement application to receive faster approval.
After we receive the completed paperwork from your contractor, you typically receive your permit within 5 to 10 business days, up to a maximum of 30 days.
PLEASE NOTE: In a few cases, our engineering system review may determine that you must make additional system upgrades to support your renewable system. The upgrades may add costs or delays to your installation timeline.
Get a quick estimate of the cost and size of the system needed to power your business.
Read more about Virtual Net Energy Metering by downloading The Sun is Shining for Solar Customers (PDF, 6.1 MB). Learn more about Net Energy Metering (NEM) and your bill by visiting our NEM page.