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As a SMUD customer, you can put the sun to work and generate your own energy for a better and cleaner Sacramento.

SMUD residential customers contract directly with PV contractors for the purchase/installation of their own grid-connected, solar electric generating system. SMUD offers an incentive of $1.55 per watt, based on expected system performance (orientation, array, tilt and shade). The incentive can be paid to the PV contractor or the SMUD customer.


For Residential Customers

Step 1 is to research the technology and how it will affect your bill

Step 2 is to incorporate energy efficiency whenever possible

Step 3 is the purchase process to secure a great contractor and competitive price

Step 4 is to understand the application process

Step 1 Research First

SMUD Solar Electric PV System Estimator - Will assist you with system performance and savings based on a variety of inputs with system size, orientation, cost, financing method and your monthly utility costs. More

Solar Sacramento Map - Calculates the solar potential for your dwelling and displays all the PV installations within the SMUD District. Simply follow the steps to see how solar can work for you. Click here for the Solar Map

Sizing a System - You'll need to know your electricity consumption during the last 12 months. Click here to log into Your Account to obtain your electric usage for that time period. You can also acquire your electricity use history through the Solar Sacramento Map where you can size your system and review the impact of a solar system to your electricity bill. The most favorable financial outcome is to size a system to reduce or eliminate only your Tier II electric use. Click here to see SMUD's residential rates.

The average residential retrofit system size is approximately 3.4 kW. Do not oversize the PV system to produce more than you use. SMUD will only pay incentives for the system size that will offset your 12-month historic use. AB920 legislation requires utilities to pay for excess generation but the value may not be at retail rates. Click here for the current rate for excess generation.

Go solar without buying a system - For information about Residential Solar Leases and Power Purchase Agreements click here.

Frequently Asked Questions - For more information on solar power, check out these frequently asked questions. More

Step 2 Energy Efficiency

It is vital that energy efficiency be considered before installing a solar PV system. In fact, state law requires you to consider efficiency before receiving incentives for PV. Installing PV on an inefficient home is not practical or environmentally responsible. Customers installing solar on their home will need to perform an on-line or telephone audit with a SMUD residential energy specialist. It is always good practice to do this before signing contracts with a PV contractor.

Either audit must be received by SMUD to approve a PV incentive application.

  • To talk with a SMUD auditor:  dial 916-732-5085
  • To perform an on-line energy audit: Click here.

California State mandate also requires customers to review and sign an energy efficiency declaration when making an incentive application for PV. Click here to download the declaration.

SMUD offers rebates on many energy efficiency measures. More

Step 3 Purchase Process

Select a Contractor - It is very important that our customers make informed decisions. Obtain at least two proposals during your purchase decision. SMUD provides a list of PV contractors that are licensed, insured and have installed at least five PV systems. Click here to see a list of SMUD-participating contractors for residential photovoltaic (PV) systems. The contractor does not necessarily need to be on the SMUD Participating contractors list but must hold a C-10, C46 or B-General Contractors license. A more robust list of contractors can be viewed on the California Solar Initiative website.  Click here

Costs - PV equipment costs have reduced significantly. However, some contractors pricing is not reflecting this reduction. A PV system can be installed for as little as $7/watt (CEC-AC) or less.


Incentives - In keeping with SB-1 legislation, SMUD incorporated a 10-Step, 10-year incentive structure where the incentive is reduced as capacity limits are met in each step. The Table below delineates the incentive amount in each step. The current residential incentive is at Step 5. For a high level view of SMUD's SB-1 PV Program data click here. 


SMUD 10 - Year Incentive Structure

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10


EPBI incentive/watt












5-yr. PBI incentive/kWh














EPBI - Expected based incentive paid based on the system capacity in AC incorporating CEC PTC module rating, inverter efficiency, array shade, tilt and orientation.

PBI - 5-year performance based incentive paid quarterly based on actual system generation.

Step 4 Application Process

The application process to receive incentives for your PV system will be handled by your contractor. 

Contact Plan It Solar at:


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it - (530) 273-0303

For additional information, visit these websites:


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SunPower Dealer | Plan It Solar | Grass Valley, CA
"We LOVE OUR SYSTEM!  It does our hearts good knowing we have contributed to the wellness of our environment, and to the 'health' of our wallet as well, with solar powered savings!"   Mark & Julie James - Rough & Ready, CA
Plan It Solar
563 Idaho Maryland Rd
Grass Valley, CA  95945
Phone: 530-273-0303
Fax: 530-273-1760
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