City of Palo Alto Utilities - PV Partners (California)

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Last modified on December 17, 2014.

Financial Incentive Program

Place Palo Alto, California

Name City of Palo Alto Utilities - PV Partners
Incentive Type Utility Rebate Program
Applicable Sector Commercial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government
Eligible Technologies Photovoltaics
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector Utility
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
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.

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.
Start Date July 2007

Installation Requirements PV systems must be grid-connected; must be installed by a licensed contractor.

Maximum Incentive Incentives available for first 1 MW
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.

Program Administrator City of Palo Alto Utilities

References DSIREDatabase of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency[1]


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.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Utility Marketing Services
Department City of Palo Alto Utilities
Address 250 Hamilton Avenue
Place Palo Alto, California
Zip/Postal Code 94301
Phone (650) 329-2241


  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DSIRE" defined multiple times with different content