Customer interconnection essentials
Work with a contractor
Contractors handle most of the steps necessary to install your solar or renewable energy system and connect it to the PG&E electric grid. As a home or business owner, your role is to understand the Agreement and Customer Authorization (A&A) form and Standard Net Energy Metering (NEM) Interconnection Application. The more you know, the more effective you can be in working with your contractor.
Understand the details before you sign
Contractors list your system size on the Interconnection Application. Before discussing your system installation with your contractor, we recommend completing the following preparation:
- Focus on energy efficiency first. A few simple measures can save you money by reducing your energy use. The measures can reduce your monthly bill, along with the size and cost of the renewable energy system you need. To begin, do a Home Energy Checkup or Business Energy Checkup:
- Use the Solar Calculator. The size of your system is calculated based on how much renewable energy you plan to offset at your home or business, and your usage history or average bill. We recommend maximizing your energy savings by generating 80 to 85 percent of your typical monthly usage. You can get a size estimate using the PG&E Solar Calculator. Visit Solar Calculator. If the estimate is very different from the size that your contractor recommends, ask the contractor why.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no incentive for installing a system larger than your home or business needs. Compensation for excess generation is set by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) at roughly $.03-.04 per kilowatt hour (kWh). The compensation does not justify the cost of an oversized system. Learn more. Visit Getting Credit for Surplus Energy.
Authorize your contractor to act on your behalf
For a contractor to submit the Interconnection Application on your behalf, you must provide your permission on the A&A form. Go over the following language with your contractor, and check the box on the authorization form if you agree.
"By checking this box and signing this Agreement, I (Customer) authorize PG&E to release my PG&E Electric Account information to the Company above limited to kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage, operational characteristics and other information related to my Generating Facility application. Company is also authorized to submit Application Form 79-1151B and act on my behalf with regard to the interconnection and receive copies of this executed Interconnection Agreement and the Permission to Operate Letter when issued."
Evaluate your rate options before signing
Depending on your property and how you use energy, some rate plans are a better value than others. Review the rate schedule options before you sign, and choose the plan that works best for you. Browse all of your options. Visit My Rate Plan Choices.
NOTE: You may remain on a closed-rate schedule (for example, E7 or E8). However, if you choose a new rate schedule, you can’t return to the closed-rate schedule in the future.
Sign the A&A form
You must sign the A&A form to acknowledge the rate schedule you chose and the system size you plan to install. Your contractor can use an e-signature tool to speed up processing.
Ask your contractor to put your email address on the A&A form so that you can receive a faster notification from PG&E about when you can operate your new system.
Are there any fees associated with interconnection?
Typically, no additional fees are required. However, in some cases, network upgrades may be necessary before you can install the system at your home or business. Your contractor will work with PG&E to determine if upgrades are required and inform you of any additional costs that may be incurred.
Know when to turn on your system
Never turn on the solar or renewable energy system before receiving the permission to operate (PTO) letter from PG&E.
We can guide you through selecting, connecting and monitoring your solar and renewable energy system. Visit Understand the Process.
For safety and reliability reasons, all solar and renewable generators must connect to the PG&E energy grid. Connection requires an Interconnection Agreement.