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Getting Started

Join the thousands of home and business owners who have earned cash-back rebates by installing solar energy systems in California. Customers earn cash rebates for every watt of solar energy installed on homes, businesses, farms, schools and government and non profit organizations. Just follow these easy steps:

1. Energy Efficiency Self-Audit: Rightsize Your System

Making your home or business energy efficient before you go solar is an essential first step. Energy-saving actions—such as changing incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and replacing old, inefficient appliances—are the best ways to save energy and money while providing real, lasting benefits to the environment.

Energy efficiency measures also help reduce the size of the solar energy system you need, saving you thousands of dollars in up-front installation costs.

You will need to complete an energy efficiency survey or audit of your home or business prior to applying for PPCSI incentives. If you will be working with a contractor, they may be able to assist with your energy audit and energy efficiency goals.

All Residential applicants must use the Home Energy Saver web tool at http://hes.lbl.gov/consumer

Non residential applicants must complete an energy efficiency audit including an Energy Star Benchmarking report using the EPA Portfolio Manager located here:
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=evaluate_performance.bus_portfoliomanager.

2. Select the Right Solar Contractor

Licensed contractors are your key to getting the most productive solar energy system for your home or business.  Typically, the solar contractor will apply for the incentives on your behalf and arrange for your system to be interconnected to your utility company's power grid.  The solar contractor may also apply for local permits as part of the installation process.

You can obtain a list of solar contractors either by browsing the PPCSIP Solar Contractor List, or the Go Solar California Database.

Searching for a solar contractor by zip code is the fastest way to find a solar contractor closest to you, although any contractor who holds an active A, B, C-10 or C-46 license may work on your project.  Contractors who participate in the PPCSIP must be licensed by the California Contractors State License Board.

Solar contractors typically provide free site evaluations, comprehensive quotes and payback information. The contractor should be able to evaluate factors that will affect your PV system performance, such as the roof size, orientation (tilt and direction) of the system, shading and other factors.

Just as if you were doing any other type of home improvement, you will want to contact at least three solar contractors to help ensure you receive the most competitive bid for your project. It is customary for a solar contractor to visit your home to help you plan the location and size of your system.

You can verify the solar contractor is using a valid contractor's license by contacting the Contractors State License Board (www.cslb.ca.gov) or 1-800-321-2752.

3. Apply for Incentives

You have the option to submit an Application Package along with any supporting documentation to the program administrator (PA) to reserve your incentive dollars before installing the system.

After the PA receives and approves your Application Package, they will reserve funds based on the estimated performance of your solar project. These funds will be reserved for a specified period of time during which you must install your solar energy system. Please remember that if you reserved funds, there is a deadline by which you must interconnect your system and submit your Incentive Claim Package.

Reserving your incentive ensures your access to the highest applicable incentive. As more solar energy systems are purchased and installed by Pacific Power customers, the amount of available incentive dollars decreases, as does the incentive level. Contact your program administrator for more information.