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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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City of Palo Alto Utilities - PV Partners   

Last DSIRE Review: 06/24/2013
Program Overview:
State: California
Incentive Type: Utility Rebate Program
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government
Amount:Systems <30kW: Rebate varies depending on customer class; based on CEC AC watts.
Systems 30 kW and larger: Performance-based incentive (PBI), based on actual monthly energy produced (kWh) for 60 month term.
For current rebate levels, visit the program website below.
Maximum Incentive:Incentives available for first 1 MW
Eligible System Size:1 kW minimum, 1 MW maximum
Equipment Requirements:All flat plate PV modules and inverters must be on the State of California Energy Commission list of eligible equipment; must have full 10-year warranty on equipment and labor.
Installation Requirements:PV systems must be grid-connected; must be installed by a licensed contractor.
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits:Remains with system owner.
Program Budget:$1.3 million per program year for 10 years. If all of the funds are reserved in a given program year, the rebate level drops to the next program year, and the program stays open.
Start Date:July 2007
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Effective:

July 2007

The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) PV Partners Program offers incentives to customers that install qualifying PV systems. The program, which has a budget of approximately $13 million over 10 years, is divided into 10 steps (residential incentives have 12 steps), each funded at $1.3 million. Each step is allocated across four customer rate classes -- residential, small/medium commercial, large commercial and non-profit/public sector -- with a specified PV capacity allocated to it. Rebate levels will drop $0.20 per watt as the incentive level moves to the next step.

Incentive levels as of 6/24/2013 are described below. For current levels, consult the program web site above.

  • Residential: $1.00/watt AC (no maximum)
  • Small/Medium Commercial (Rate E-2, E-4) <30 kW: $2.00/watt AC
  • Small/Medium Commercial (Rate E-2, E-4) 30 kW and greater: PBI $0.25/kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 60 months
  • Large Commercial (Rate E-7) <30 kW: $1.40/watt AC
  • Large Commercial (Rate E-7) 30 kW and greater: PBI $0.18/kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 60 months

Funding for the program is renewed each year on July 1, with additional funding brought forward from future program years as needed. Special incentives for non-profit and public sector installations were terminated on July 20, 2010. Funds remaining from this set aside have been added to the fund for the small and medium commercial sector. Non-profits and public sector entities may still be eligible to receive incentives through the program for small and medium commercial.

Interested customers should see the 2012 Program Guidelines for more information.

  Utility Marketing Services
City of Palo Alto Utilities
250 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: (650) 329-2241
Fax: (650) 617-3140
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.