California Solar Initiative (CSI) Residential

Important Note: The CSI Residential program is no longer accepting new applications as of 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Additionally, the CSI Non-Residential program is no longer accepting new applications on the Waitlist after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 12, 2013.

worker installing solar panel

Program Overview

The California Solar Initiative is designed to promote solar technologies and help lower the cost of solar systems for consumers. 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, through its California Solar Initiative, provides over $2.1 billion in incentives for existing residential homes, as well as new and existing commercial, 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, upfront 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.

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

  Expected Performance (one-time payment)Performance-Based Incentives (10 kW systems or greater)
Incentive $0.20 per watt $0.025/kWh

How to Apply

Your contractor will help with the entire application process from materials, to applications, to interconnection. Applications must be submitted through PowerClerk, an online database. Applications currently are not being accepted.


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 home.

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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