California Solar Initiative (CSI) Business

Important note: The California Solar Initiative program is not accepting new applications at this time and has limited additional funding. Projects currently on the waiting list are not guaranteed funding.

worker installing solar panel

Program Overview

The California Solar Initiative (CSI) is designed to promote solar technologies and help lower the cost of solar systems that will serve California’s needs. CSI has set a goal of creating 3,000 megawatts (MW) of new, solar-generated electricity by 2017, moving our state toward a cleaner energy future.

Who Benefits from the Program?

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), through its California Solar Initiative, provides over $2.1 billion in incentives for existing commercial, residential, industrial and agricultural properties.


The program is intended to encourage high-performing solar systems, and incentives differ depending on the type of property and size of the system.

Expected Performance-based Buydown (EPBB)

The program provides a one-time, up-front payment based on an estimate of a solar system’s future energy generation performance. Systems with larger capacities receive greater incentives.

Performance-based incentives (PBI)

Performance-based incentives are required for solar projects with a system larger than 30 kilowatts (kW). Monthly incentive payments for five years are based on the actual energy generated by the system as measured by a separate performance meter. Even if solar projects are less than 30 kW, you can apply for this incentive as long as your system is greater than 10 kW.

Incentive Rate

The incentive rate is based on the incentive type—EPBB or PBI, and the relevant customer segment—residential, commercial or government/nonprofit and current incentive step.

  Expected Performance-based BuydownPerformance-based Incentives 
Property Type Commercial Govt / nonprofit Commercial Govt / nonprofit
Incentive $0.20/W $0.70/W $0.025/kWh $0.088/kWh

The PBI Customer Manual (PDF, 418 KB) has a detailed description of the PBI payment process.


Understand Your Bill

Use the Solar Calculator

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

Contact Us

  • Email:

    Solar Customer Service Center

    Mailing Address
    PG&E Solar and Customer Generation—CSI
    PO Box 7433
    San Francisco, CA 94120

    Street Address
    PG&E Solar and Customer Generation—CSI
    245 Market St., MC N7R
    San Francisco, CA 94105-1797

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