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Pasadena Water & Power

  • PSI PowerClerk Application Instructions

    >> PSI Application Instructions for Paper Based Applications submitted before 10/16/13.  

    Process Summary


    Except for those systems that are self-installed, all systems must be installed by appropriately licensed California contractors in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the State of California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB). Solar installation contractors must have an A, B, C-10 or a C-46 license for photovoltaic (PV) systems.

    PWP strongly suggests hiring an experienced licensed solar contractor to design and install solar systems. Licensed and experienced contractors are the key to getting the most productive solar energy system possible and avoiding generation production in the future.

    Solar energy systems must be designed and installed in conformance with the manufacturer's specifications and with all applicable electrical and building codes and standards.

    Typically, the solar installer will apply for PSI incentives on the customer's behalf, apply for local permits, and arrange for the solar system to be interconnected to the utility power grid. Installers must be familiar with PWP’s rules and regulations for electrical design and installation (Regulation 21) and  Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements (Regulation 23) including  metering requirements.

    The State of California provides a list of pre-qualified solar installers online at http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/database/search-new.php. Searching for a solar installer by zip code is the fastest way to find a solar installer closest to you, although any licensed contractor may work on your project. Solar installers typically provide free site evaluations, comprehensive quotes and payback information.

    PWP recommends evaluating at least three (3) different contractors and consider doing the following:

    1. Check the status of Contractor License at www.cslb.ca.gov. License must be an active A, B, C-10, or C-46 in order to meet the eligibility requirements for the PSI Program.

    2. Check references. One of the most reliable sources for business references is the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

    3. Examine customer feedback. Conduct internet searches, talk to those who may have used this contractor, etc. in an effort to find out as much information as possible.

    4. Compare quotes to actual project costs listed in weekly data sets from the California Solar Initiative. Download here.

    While PWP does not certify or recommend PV equipment manufacturers or installers, these internet resources may help you locate potential PV installers:

    Making your home or business energy efficient before you install solar energy is essential to making your system as economical and efficient as possible. Energy-saving actions—such as changing incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent (CFL) or Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps, and replacing old, inefficient appliances with the most efficient Energy Star rated appliances—are the best way to save energy and money while providing real, lasting benefits to the environment. Energy efficiency measures also help reduce the size of the solar system you need, saving you thousands of dollars in up-front installation costs. Speak to your installer to determine what kind and size of solar power system is right for you. Be sure to consider any potential reductions in your energy usage that may result from the required energy audit.

    Residential customers can fulfill this requirement by providing proof of completing the Home Energy Calculator 


    Note: This step includes all forms necessary to apply for a PSI rebate and interconnection with the PWP electric system.

    Installers must request access to PowerClerk prior to submitting applications.  If you would like access to PowerClerk, please complete the "PowerClerk Access Request Form" and submit to solar@cityofpasadena.net or fax to 626-396-7742.  PWP allows a maximum of two (2) applications per company.

    The following documents are required to be uploaded in PowerClerk, except for the Interconnection and Netmetering Agreement, which must be mailed via USPS:

    a. PSI Application Request Form A copy of the application signed by Host Customer, Installer, and Applicant must be submitted through PowerClerk.

    b. Electrical Drawings or Single Line Diagram. Provide a complete set of electrical drawings showing the electrical relationship and descriptions of the significant electrical components such as: PV modules, inverters, electrical service, DC disconnects, AC disconnects, utility meter, performance meter, junction boxes, wiring specs, the primary switchgear, secondary switchboard, protective relays, transformers, generators, circuit breakers, with operating voltages, capacities, and protective functions of the Generating Facility, the Customer’s loads, and the interconnection with PWP’s Distribution System.

    If final drawings are not available at the time of application, submit two complete sets of conceptual drawings providing the minimum necessary attributes of the solar PV system Design. For a list of the necessary attributes, click here. 

    c. Copy of the Site Drawing Plan showing the physical relationship of the significant electrical components of the Generating Facility such as modules, inverters, transformers, and control panels, the Customer’s loads and the interconnection with PWP’s Distribution System. Diagram must show the approximate location of all major electric components including solar modules, inverters, electric output meters, combiner boxes, and the A.C. manually operated disconnect devices on the site plans. Here is a SAMPLE. 

    d. Shading Analysis Report generated with the use of a solar assessment tool such as the “Solar Pathfinder,” "Solmetric" or any equivalent technology.

      • For systems up to 10 kW CEC-AC with rectangular shaped areas, a shading analysis must be done for each separate solar array by placing the instrument at the center of where the array will be located and taking a reading.
      • For systems with irregular shaped array areas and/or a capacity rating larger than 10 kW CEC-AC, a shading measurement must be taken at major each corner.
      • For more information about proper shading input requirements, please refer to Section 7 in the CSI Incentive Calculator User Guide.  

    e. The Net Metering and Surplus Compensation enrollment form. More information on compensation for your system's net surplus electricity can be found here.

    f. Copy of the Signed Contract between Customer and Installer. For leased installations, provide complete copy of the Signed Lease Contract.  For commercial, non-profit and government institutions, a signed letter on company letterhead clearly stating the name of the selected solar vendor is sufficient while the contract is being processed.

    g. Copy of Customer's Electric Bill.  Applicant's name must match the electric account holder's name on the bill.

    h. Two (2) original signed (wet signature) Interconnection and Net Metering Agreement (both copies must have original signature form the customer). These original agreements must be mailed to PWP via USPS.

    i. Letter of approval from the Home Owners Association's Board of Directors (if applicable.)


    Mail Interconnection and Netmetering Agreements to:

    Pasadena Water and Power
    Attn: Pasadena Solar Initiative
    150 S. Los Robles Ave. Suite 200
    Pasadena, CA 91101


    Pasadena Water and Power staff will review application and verify required documents for completeness and accuracy. PWP’ Engineering Department will evaluate application package free of charge.

    When the application is approved,  PWP will issue an "Approval and Reservation Letter." Installer (or customer) must bring this letter when applying for a building permit to the City’s Department of Planning and Development.  

    Once PWP approves the application, a rebate amount will be reserved for you for a limited time. To claim your rebate, your solar installation must be completed within 9 months of the application approval for existing facilities (Retrofit), and within 18 months for new construction, including remodeling, additions, etc.

    If the application is not approved, PWP will notify the installer or customer and discuss necessary corrections to the application or supporting documents.

    Vendors/installers who need assistance from PWP during the conceptual PV system design, must pay the Initial Review fee as specified in the “Application and Interconnection Process’ Section of PWP’s Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements (Regulation 23).


    A building permit from the City’s Department of Planning and Development is required before installing a solar system on your home or facility.

    Installer (or customer) must bring PWP’s Approval and Reservation Letter when applying for a building permit from the City’s Department of Planning and Development. 

    Permit Center is located at 175 North Garfield Ave. Pasadena, during our business hours, (Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)For more information in how to obtain a building permit, visit the Permit Center website or call 626-744-6646


    Installers must be familiar with PWP’s rules and regulations for electrical design and installation (Regulation 21 )  and  Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements (Regulation 23) including  metering requirements.

    A Performance Meter is required for all solar installations.

    AC Manual Utility Disconnect is required for all solar installations and it must be installed within eight (8) feet from the Customer Service Equipment or Point of Connection.

    >> Click Program Eligibility and Requirements for additional information on meter requirements.


    As part of the installation process, your solar installer generally handles permits required by the city. When the solar installation is complete, a building inspector from the City’s Department of Planning and Development will verify that the system conforms to building and safety codes.

    After the solar system passes inspection, the solar system must remain in the off position. Turning the solar system on before the standard utility meter is replaced with a solar meter may cause billing errors and additional charges on the customer's electric bill. 

    Please note the PV system will not be allowed to interconnect to the grid until PWP’s Interconnection and Net Metering Agreement is fully executed (signed) by both customer and the City of Pasadena AND customer has received written authorization to operate the system from PWP.


    PWP inspects all solar installations before they are authorized to connect to the electric grid. PWP personnel may inspect, test and verify that the system was installed as designed and specified in the original application and the equipment functions properly.

    The following documents are required to be submitted through PowerClerk:

    • Copy of the Building Final Inspection Sign-off
    • As-built Site Plan, if as-built installation is different that the system reviewed and approved by PWP
    • As-built Electrical Drawings, if as-built installation is different that the system reviewed and approved by PWP

    As-built modifications include changes in equipment type, capacity, layout, location, orientation, tilt, shading, etc.

    Pasadena Water and Power will replace existing utility meter with a new Net-Meter capable of spinning and recording net energy in both directions if installation passes PWP Field Inspection.


    As soon as the solar installation passes PWP Field Inspection and a solar meter has been installed at the premises, PWP will issue “Permission to Operate” letter authorizing customer to operate solar system. Please note it’s the installer responsibility to turn the system on.


     The following documents are required to be submitted though PowerClerk:

    • Latest version of the "PSI Application Request Form" from PowerClerk.  This form must reflect "as-built" conditions
    • Copy of Permit fees receipt
    • Copy of Energy Efficiency Audit Report. Residential customers can fulfill this requirement by providing proof of completing the Home Energy Calculator. Commercial customers must contact their PWP Account Manager, who will assist commercial customers to fulfill the audit requirement.
    • Copy of the Itemized Sales Invoice or Bill of Materials. At a minimum, the Final Sales Invoice needs to indicate the specific cost of the inverter, modules, labor, and a grand total.  Additional information can be listed but is not required.
    • Signed copy of PSI Payment Assignment Form (if applicable)


    PWP will review and approve Incentive Claim documents and request rebate check for this installation.

    Customer or Payment Assignee will receive a rebate check within 2-3 weeks after documents listed in Step 10 were received by PWP.


    If you have comments, suggestions, or questions regarding the Pasadena Solar Initiative, please call the Answerline at 626-744-6970 during regular business hours or write to solar@cityofpasadena.net 

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