Interconnection for beginners
Whether or not it is your first time connecting a renewable energy system to the PG&E grid, this instructive overview provides links to how to list yourself as a solar contractor, find approved equipment and help prepare the home or business. Find information for first-time installers and contractors on this page, including steps to complete the interconnection process.
Interconnection is governed by both federal and state regulations for safety and reliability. All solar and renewable generators must connect to our grid. You must complete our Interconnection Application.
List yourself as a solar contractor
We encourage customers to choose contractors from the Go Solar California list of registered contractors. Add your contracting services to the list. Visit Equipment Installers, Sellers, Vendors, or Retailers.
Use approved equipment
We strongly recommend that installers and contractors use equipment on the California Energy Commission (CEC) list of accepted equipment. Doing so can save you time during the engineering review process. Only CEC-approved equipment appears in the drop-down list on our online Interconnection Application. Unlisted equipment requires additional documentation.
Get the list of CEC-approved equipment. Visit Eligible Equipment Section.
Prepare the home or business
Follow our tips to ready a home or business for interconnection:
- Start by performing, or encouraging your customers to perform, a PG&E energy-efficiency checkup. Making energy-saving changes before determining the size of the renewable system needed may provide cost savings and lead to higher customer satisfaction. Sign in to your online PG&E account and find energy check-up tips on how to make the home or business more energy efficient. Visit Your Account.
- Residential customers can get a customized list of changes to make to boost home energy efficiency, along with savings estimates. Visit Home Energy Checkup.
- Business customers can get customized recommendations to lower operating costs, including financial incentives to implement energy-saving solutions. Visit Business Energy Checkup.
- View the last 12 months of electric use to help determine the proper system size. Access this information by logging in to your account and using the Share My Data feature. Visit Share My Data.
- Evaluate rate schedule options before completing the Agreement and Customer Authorization (A&A) form yourself or on behalf of your customer. The customer of record should evaluate and choose the rate schedule that saves the most money. To check options, customers can refer to electricity rates. Visit Electricity Rates.
PLEASE NOTE: When applying for interconnection using the online interconnection tool, the drop-down list of rate schedules shows only rate options applicable to the customer of record.
Get additional information about working with customers on interconnection projects. Visit Help Your Sales Team Set Customer Expectations.
Know the steps and timeline
Identify the proper system size to install by viewing customer usage data. Make sure the customer of record is aware of the various rate schedule options. You must first obtain authorization to represent the customer. This authorization is necessary in order to complete the A&A form. Submit the form by using the PG&E Interconnection Portal.
NOTE: The actual size of the system installed may be less than or equal to the size you list on the A&A form.
Request a building permit for the renewable energy system installation from the local jurisdiction. The installation must pass city or county inspections for safety and code compliance in order to receive a building permit.
Install the system according to all applicable local building codes. Ensure that you’re using CEC-approved equipment. Visit Eligible Equipment Section. Also check the single-line diagram (SLD) included with your Interconnection Application to understand what is installed. Generally, installation takes a few days to a few weeks, depending on the conditions of the property or system.
Schedule an inspection from the local jurisdiction to get final approval of the new solar or renewable system. We require a copy of the final permit before issuing your customer a permission to operate (PTO) letter.
Complete and submit the PG&E Interconnection Portal.
NOTE: Attach a copy of the building permit, SLD and other applicable supporting documents. View a list of required documentation. Visit the PG&E Interconnection Portal. The online application uses the information you submit to determine if any additional documentation or a variance request is required. In a few cases, our engineering review may determine that additional system upgrades are necessary to support the new renewable system. These upgrades may incur a cost and delay the installation timeline.
After we receive the completed documents from the customer or you, the timeframe for issuing the PTO letter is typically five to 10 business days (a maximum of 30). The customer may turn on the system for the first time only after receiving our permission to operate. After we issue the PTO, we recommend that the contractor show the customer how to turn the system on and off.
Get more tips on how to complete the application process, and learn how to avoid a variance request. Visit Tips and Advice for Application Process.
When you're ready to apply, use the PG&E Interconnection Portal.
Download related documents
- NEM is a special billing program for PG&E solar and renewable energy customers. This program is designed to monitor monthly home energy use and generation, and help save on electric bills. Learn more about the NEM program. Download Net Energy Metering (NEM) (PDF, 173KB).
- Standard NEM is governed by Electric Rule 21. Learn the guidelines. Download Electric Rule 21 (PDF, 223KB).
- Secondary network areas in San Francisco and Oakland provide added reliability for electric service in heavily populated areas and may affect eligibility to participate in NEM. Learn more about these networks. Download Secondary Networks (PDF, 144KB).