Steps to Install and Connect

PG&E is here to help you through all of the steps for installing and connecting a renewable energy system for your home.

Your contractor will handle most of the steps necessary to install your solar or renewable energy system and connect it to PG&E’s electric grid. However, as a homeowner, it is wise for you to play an active role. Understanding the key steps will help you set expectations and communicate more effectively with your contractor.

Key Roles: You
solar panel and hard hatStart with PG&E’s Home Energy Checkup  by logging in to My Energy. This energy-efficiency audit provides key information about your current home energy usage and will help you make choices that reduce your overall electricity and water consumption.

  • Make your home more energy efficient, which will save you money by reducing the size of the renewable energy system you will need to install.
  • Find a qualified contractor that meets your needs and budget. PG&E offers resources and tips to locate experienced contractors in your area and to choose from competing bids.

Key Roles: Your Contractor
checkmark on clipboardOnce you and your contractor identify the appropriate renewable energy system to match your home’s needs, the contractor will fill out an interconnection application to connect your system to PG&E’s electric grid. Your contractor will process the paperwork and you must sign the interconnection agreement.

  • When applying, you can select a new rate schedule or keep your existing rate schedule. Talk to your contractor or PG&E about the best option for your home.
  • See PG&E’s incentive programs and ask your contractor whether you qualify for rebates. This is when the contractor should start the paperwork.
  • Timeline: Make sure your contractor fills out the interconnection application early so that you can start generating energy shortly after passing local city or county inspections.

Key Roles: Your Contractor
hammerYour contractor ensures the delivery and complete installation of the energy system at your home.

  • Talk to your contractor before installation to choose a delivery date and request a time estimate for completion.
  • Timeline: Installation generally takes a few days to a few weeks depending on the unique conditions of your home or system.

Key Roles: Your Contractor, City/County Inspectors
magnifying glass magnifying bar chartYour renewable energy system must pass city or county inspections for safety and code compliance in order to obtain a final building permit. Your contractor should make the arrangements with the building officials to complete the inspections.

  • For safety reasons, keep your system turned off until you have received official permission to operate from PG&E.
  • Timeline: Timeframes depend on the city or county. To avoid delays, make sure your contractor has arranged for the building permit and scheduled the inspections.

Key Roles: Your Contractor and PG&E
checkmark on clipboardYour contractor submits all required paperwork to PG&E, including the interconnection application filled out early in the process, a line diagram of the system and a copy of the final building permit. Once approved, PG&E will upgrade your meter and send you official written permission to operate.

  • Include your email address on the interconnection application to receive approval faster by email.
  • Timeline: Once PG&E receives the completed paperwork from your contractor, it typically takes five to 10 business days, with a maximum of 30 days to receive your permission to operate.
  • Important Note: In a few cases, PG&E’s engineering system review may determine that additional system upgrades are necessary to support your renewable system. These upgrades may incur a cost and delay your installation timeline.

Use the Solar Calculator

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

Make a Plan

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