Solar and Storage Basics

If you’re considering installing solar to power your home or business, MCE can help you get the best out of your system.

Solar technologies capture sunlight and turn it into clean, renewable energy. For homes and businesses, this is accomplished by installing solar or photovoltaic (PV) panels.

As an MCE solar customer, you can:

Use the electricity you generate to power your home or business.

Be Power Smart.

Sell excess energy to the grid to earn bill credits and offset installation and maintenance costs.

Earn More.

Lower your energy bills by using less electricity from the grid.

Save More.

Contribute clean energy to the grid and reduce your reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

Fight Climate Change.

How To Go Solar


Maximize Your Energy Efficiency.

Before installing solar, consider making energy-efficiency and electrification improvements, like adding insulation and upgrading to electric appliances to get the most out of a solar system.


Assess Your Needs and Site.

Determine your energy needs by examining your energy consumption. Evaluate your site for adequate space and regular exposure to sunlight. You can use mapping services to calculate the solar potential of your structure’s rooftop.


Consider Your Battery Storage Needs.

Evaluate the time of day you use the most electricity. If it’s at night, consider pairing solar with battery storage to use your solar energy at any time, even when the sun is down or during power outages. Rebates and incentives are available to lower the cost of solar and storage.


Research and Compare Solar Companies.

Make a list of local solar equipment or installation providers and read their reviews. Consider interviewing multiple solar companies before making your final decision. Check their licenses and organizational affiliations. Compare quotes, solar panel efficiency, and warranties from your top companies.


Conduct a Site Assessment.

Your solar company will conduct a site visit to evaluate your property and design a proposal based on your energy needs, budget, and capabilities. Explore purchasing, leasing, and financing plans before commencing installation.


Install the System.

Your solar company will begin installing your panels. Installation usually takes a few days. 


Coordinate an Inspection and Get Approval.

Once your system is installed, your solar company will help you coordinate an on-site safety inspection and grid interconnection approval with PG&E.


Enjoy Clean Solar Energy and Save.

If you have paired your home solar with battery storage and programmed to use your stored energy from 4–9 pm, make sure to sign up to receive a bill discount through our Solar Storage Credit.

Add a Battery for Safety & Savings

Solar panels excel at generating electricity when the sun is shining, but that might not be the time of day you use the most electricity. Rather than sending your unused power to the grid, batteries optimize your system by storing your solar energy so you can use it when you need it, like during peak hours when energy rates are higher or when there’s a power outage.

What is the Solar Billing Plan?

The Solar Billing Plan (SBP) is a new program to credit solar system owners for the surplus electricity they contribute to the grid. The difference between SBP and the previous Net Energy Metering (NEM) program is an adjustment of rates. SBP customers receive less for the electricity they sell back to the grid during off-peak hours and more during peak usage. The value of this electricity is set by the Avoided Cost Calculator (ACC), which has varying rates for each hour throughout the year. To create the most value for your solar system, it is now vital to install a battery. Solar customers can offset as much as 70-90% of their utility bills by using their stored energy and selling excess energy during peak periods.

Are you a business considering solar power?

MCE’s Feed-In-Tariff Plus Program presents a great opportunity for businesses with outdoor space, like rooftops or parking lots, to be the next site for a small-scale solar and storage project. See your property’s revenue potential from a new perspective and enjoy the ease of a standard, fixed contract and predictable revenue projections.

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of your solar system will depend on your property’s size, energy requirements, and chosen equipment. Solar companies will happily give you a quote tailored to your needs. If you qualify for the federal solar tax credit, you can claim up to 30% of your solar system’s cost as a credit.

California doesn’t have a state-specific solar tax credit, but consumers can take advantage of the federal tax credit and local net billing programs, which allow you to sell excess energy back to the grid. In addition, Californians get a property tax exemption for solar systems, which can raise your home value without impacting property taxes.
Solar panels usually come with a 25-year warranty. Some components with shorter life spans, like batteries and inverters, may need to be replaced sooner.
Solar energy is a worthwhile investment in clean energy and energy independence for your property. While net metering rules have lengthened the payback period of solar systems, you can still benefit from lower energy bills, increased property value, and the assurance that you are contributing to a healthier environment.

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