Work with PG&E and your contractor during the process

PG&E is here to help you through all of the steps of installing a renewable energy system for your home and connect it to our electric grid. Your contractor handles most of the steps in the process. However, it’s a good idea for you, as a homeowner, to play an active role. Understanding the following key steps and the roles and responsibilities can help you set expectations and communicate effectively with your contractor:


  1. Prepare your home and find a contractor.
  2. Prepare the Interconnection Agreement.
  3. Complete the system installation.
  4. Complete the system inspection.
  5. Get permission to operate your system.

Learn about the roles and responsibilities for each step

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Prepare your home and find a contractor

Key role: You

Make your home more energy-efficient. By increasing your home’s energy efficiency, you can install a smaller renewable energy system and save money.

  • To help identify ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, complete a PG&E Home Energy Checkup. You can use the information from this audit to make choices that reduce your overall electricity consumption and water usage. Complete the checkup on the Home Energy Checkup web page. Visit Take the FREE Home Energy Checkup. Find surprising ways to save.
  • Find a contractor who meets your needs and budget requirements. PG&E can help you locate experienced contractors in your area and choose from competing bids. Visit Find a Contractor.
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Prepare the Interconnection Agreement

Key role: Your contractor

After you and your contractor choose the appropriate renewable energy system for your home, the contractor fills out an application to connect your system to the PG&E electric grid. Your contractor processes the application paperwork, and you must sign the Interconnection Agreement.

You also complete the following tasks during this step:

  • Decide on a rate schedule. When applying, you can keep your current rate schedule or select a new one. Talk to your contractor or us about the best option for your home. Learn About Rate Options.
  • Check on rebates. Learn about our incentive programs and ask your contractor whether you qualify for rebates. Learn About PG&E Incentives for Clean Energy.

Timeline: Ensure that your contractor starts the application paperwork when you’re checking on rebates. Complete the application early so that you can start generating energy shortly after your system passes local city or county inspections.

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Complete the system installation

Key role: Your contractor

Before installation, talk to your contractor to choose a delivery date and get a time estimate for completion. Your contractor ensures the delivery of the energy system and completes the installation at your home.

Timeline: Installation generally takes a few days to a few weeks to complete, depending on any unique conditions of your home or system.

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Get a City or County inspection of your system

Key roles: Your contractor and city or county inspectors

To obtain a final building permit, your renewable energy system must pass city or county inspections for safety and code compliance. Time frames for inspections depend on city or county requirements.

For safety reasons, don’t turn on your system until PG&E gives you official written permission to operate it.

Timeline: The timeframe depends on the City or County. Help avoid delays by ensuring that your contractor has arranged for the building permit and scheduled the inspections.

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Get permission to operate your system

Key roles: Your contractor and PG&E

To get permission to operate your system, your contractor submits all required paperwork to PG&E. The paperwork includes the Interconnection Application, a line diagram of the system and a copy of the final building permit. After PG&E approves the documents, PG&E will upgrade your meter and send you official written permission to operate.

Timeline: After PG&E receives your paperwork from your contractor, getting permission to operate your system typically takes 5 to 10 business days, up to a maximum of 30 days. Include your email address on the Interconnection Application to receive approval faster by email.

PLEASE NOTE: During the PG&E engineering system review, we may determine that upgrades are needed to support your renewable system. These upgrades may incur a cost and cause delay.

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Get a quick estimate of the cost and size of the system you need to power your home.