Solar Eligibility and Requirements

Please note: PWP does not currently offer any solar incentives or rebates

PWP customers interested in installing solar on their home or business must follow the following requirements:

  1. All PWP electric customers are eligible. An "electric customer" is any consumer who receives electrical energy service from PWP under Pasadena Municipal Code Section 13.04 (“Customer”).
  2. Customers must first obtain an initial review approval from PWP before applying for a building permit for a solar installation.
  3. A separate application is required for each PWP electric account/service/meter.
  4. All PV systems must meet the technical requirements listed in Public Resource Code Section 25782 and described in the next section below, "Technical Requirements."

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

All PV systems must meet requirements listed herein and Public Resource Code Section 25782:

A. Solar System Size, Location, and Ownership Requirements

  • System Size: The solar energy system must be between 1kW and 1,000 kW CEC-AC and intended primarily to offset part or all of the Customer’s own electricity demand. Systems shall be sized to produce no more than 100% of the Customer’s average annual energy consumption as shown on the PWP billing record for the last year previous to the application submittal.
  • New or Expanded Facility: Applications with new or expanded sites with no electric bill history or where the existing electric bill does not reflect the customer’s expected expanded consumption, the maximum solar system size shall be calculated at 2 watts DC per square foot of the conditioned floor area of the building.
  • Added PV Capacity: Solar systems installed under previous Solar Program qualify for additional solar capacity. A new application is required and the sizing requirements listed above shall apply.
  • Location: The PV system must be permanently installed on the same premises where the Customer’s electricity demand is located
  • Interconnection: The PV system must be connected to PWP’s electrical distribution grid.
  • Ownership: The customer may lease the PV system or purchase its output from a third-party PV system owner/operator/installer.

B. Interconnection to the Electric Utility Distribution System

Eligible solar electric generating energy systems must be permanently interconnected to the electrical distribution grid of the utility serving the customer’s electrical load. Portable systems are not eligible. The system interconnection must comply with applicable electrical codes and utility interconnection requirements.

C. Solar Energy System Components and Warranty

All components in the solar energy system must be new and unused and must not have been previously been placed in service in any other location or for any other application.

All major solar energy system components, including PV modules, inverters, and meters must be included on the CEC’s Eligible Equipment Lists, which may be found online here.

All solar energy systems must have a minimum 10-year warranty provided in combination by the manufacturer and installer to protect the purchaser against defective workmanship, system or component breakdown, or degradation in electrical output of more than fifteen percent from their originally rated electrical output during the ten-year period.

D. Installation

The solar energy system must be installed in conformance with the manufacturer’s specifications and in compliance with all applicable electrical and building code standards.

For information about PWP’s rules and regulations for electrical design and installation, please read about PWP's electric service requirements (Regulation 21), and PWP's distributed generation facilities interconnection requirements (Regulation 23).

All installations are required to obtain the appropriate building permits from Department of Planning and Development located at 175 N. Garfield Ave, Pasadena CA 91101. For more information, please call at 626-744-4200 or visit the Permit Center.

E. Utility AC Manual Disconnect

PWP requires an AC Disconnect Switch with visible break switch contacts that are lockable in the open position within eight (8) feet and line of sight of the PWP utility meter. All solar, even for an expansion, must be behind a single AC disconnect. If multiple generating facility types are installed, each generating facility type shall have up to one AC disconnect.

The AC Disconnect Switch shall be readily accessible to the Utility at all times and located immediately adjacent to the utility meter.

The purpose of the AC Disconnect Switch is to provide a disconnecting means between the solar system and the Utility Electric Distribution System. The AC Disconnect Switch shall be used to isolate the PV system ONLY during operational conditions in order to safeguard utility personnel.

The AC Disconnect Switch should be installed upstream of the solar system and it must be able to electrically disconnect the entire solar system. AC Manual Disconnect Switch must be permanently marked with an identifying placard.

If the location of the AC Disconnect Switch cannot be installed within eight (8) feet and line of sight from the utility meter, its location must be pre-approved at the discretion of the Utility. All questions regarding the location of the AC Disconnect will be directed to the Utility Service Planning Department at pwpsolar@cityofpasadena.net

F. Energy Efficiency Audits

Residential customers can use PWP's free Energy Advisor to get a better understanding of their home energy use.