Customer communication resources
Help Your Sales Team Set Customer Expectations
Make your sales team's job easier and gain more satisfied customers. At the beginning of the project, share key information with your customers about the steps involved in installation and interconnection of a new solar or renewable energy system. PG&E has put together practical advice and links for you to share with your customers.
How to Talk to Customers About…
Discuss roles and responsibilities
It is important for customers to understand the key steps in the installation and interconnection process, as well as each party’s role and the order in which the steps must proceed. You play a vital part in communicating this information. The better your customers understand their roles and responsibilities, as well as yours, the smoother the entire process.
Share these links with your customers:
Explore rate options for renewable systems
PG&E encourages you to advise customers about applicable rate-schedule options before signing the Agreement and Customer Authorization (A&A) form, so that they may make an informed decision. This step not only helps your customers save money but also may lead to higher overall customer satisfaction for your business.
Inform your customers that PG&E offers several rate schedules, with the possibility of remaining on the current plan.
visit rate options
Important Note: A customer may remain on a closed rate schedule (e.g., E7, E8). However, if the customer moves to a different rate schedule, it will not be possible to go back to the closed rate schedule in the future.
Reduce energy consumption
A few simple measures to boost energy efficiency can save your customers money and reduce overall energy consumption at their homes or businesses. PG&E encourages customers to look into these cost- and energy-saving measures before deciding on the size of the renewable energy system necessary to install. Educate your customers about PG&E’s tools to assess and reduce overall energy consumption.
Offer customers energy-efficiency tools such as PG&E’s Home Energy Checkup and Business Energy Checkup:
Recommend proper system size
Increased customer satisfaction comes from sizing the system to best meet customers' usage needs and savings goals. For customers on a time-of-use rate, PG&E recommends sizing the system to offset 80 to 85 percent of the average electricity usage in order to minimize the electricity bill. For non-time-of-use rate schedules, PG&E suggests sizing the system to offset 90 to 95 percent of customers' annual needs in order to minimize the electricity bills.
Please note that Net Energy Metering (NEM) systems may be sized no larger than 110 percent of the customer's total previous 12 months of usage or projected future increase. Please advise your customers about the most efficient options.
For additional customer information on system sizing and energy efficiency: Visit How system size affects costs for solar and renewable energy systems.
Important Note: There is no incentive for the customer to install a system larger than the home or business needs. Compensation for excess generation through Net Surplus Compensation is set by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) at roughly $0.03 to $0.04 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and does not justify the cost of an oversized system.
Show customers when and how to turn on the system
Customers may not turn on the system without receiving permission to operate from PG&E.
PG&E has also found it beneficial for contractors to show customers, in person, how to turn on the system for the first time, once permission to operate has been granted.
Reminder: Make sure to include the customer's email address on the A&A form to ensure faster delivery of the Permission to Operate (PTO) Letter.
Inform customers of possible inspections
Most customers installing a solar or renewable energy system will not require an on-site inspection performed by PG&E prior to receiving permission to operate. However, PG&E encourages you to inform your customers that some applications are randomly selected for post-installation inspection in order to ensure equipment is installed correctly.
Important Note: Customers who do not currently have a smart meter will need an inspection to install a NEM meter prior to PG&E issuing permission to operate.
Explain about possible fees
In some cases, network upgrades may be necessary before customers can have the solar or renewable system installed. Please explain that you will work with PG&E to determine if upgrades are required, and inform your customers of any additional costs that may be incurred as a result.