Power On Peninsula

Frequently asked questions: solar and battery storage

The information below is intended for general understanding of the program. Please refer to program documents and information provided by Sunrun representatives after they have reviewed your application and other information needed for proper evaluation of your specific situation.

What is Power On Peninsula?

Power On Peninsula is an innovative program for San Mateo County from Peninsula Clean Energy that is helping people maintain power during grid outages. It also provides grid storage that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move San Mateo County toward its goal of 100% renewable energy. Find out more here.

What is the relationship between Peninsula Clean Energy and Sunrun

Peninsula Clean Energy is working with Sunrun, a leading provider of solar and backup battery systems, to install systems that will increase local electricity generation, help provide backup power in the event of grid outage, and create a storage network that will help San Mateo County reach its goals of 100% renewable power. Find out more here.

How do solar panels work?

Cells in each solar panel convert sunlight into electricity that’s delivered to your home’s main electrical service panel. Your system turns on and off automatically. Your home will use the electricity generated by your solar panels first and then pull any other electricity you need from the grid. If you use less electricity than your solar panels generate, your excess generation will be sent to the grid.

How do I know if solar panels are a good choice for me?

A Sunrun representative can help you evaluate solar. If you are a single-family home owner with a roof that has good sun exposure, without many trees or other obstacles that block the sun’s energy, you are probably a good candidate. They’ll also look at things like your household energy usage and roof space to determine the right system for you.

Can I include a home battery with my solar panels to store energy?

Yes. Sunrun can install an integrated home solar  and backup battery system that will provide backup power during grid outages (including “PSPS” outages during fire season). With an integrated system, the solar panels will recharge the battery when the sun shines. This is a clean alternative to loud and potentially dangerous diesel generators. Sunrun also offers solar battery service and can provide details during your free consultation.

While Sunrun can install a new solar + battery system, if a customer already has solar panels from Sunrun or another provider, they cannot currently add a home battery to an existing solar system. They are working on a solution to providing batteries to existing solar panels but do not have details or expected availability at this time.

How does solar plus home battery storage work during a power outage?

If there is a power outage, your battery will take over sending power to your backed up breakers within a few seconds and will continue to do so until power is restored or the battery runs out of energy. Your system is designed to supply 8 to 12 hours of backup energy, but how long the battery lasts will depend on how much energy you use. In an integrated solar + battery storage system, the battery will recharge when the sun comes up, helping you to maintain power through multi-day outages.

Can I get just a backup battery?

There are two programs for you to qualify for a battery:

  1. You may qualify for a free, installed battery from Sunrun if you are eligible for SGIP Equity Resiliency and live in a high fire PSPS area. information about SGIP and SGIP Energy Resiliency can be found here, or you can receive assistance from Sunrun by choosing “Learn more or apply” here, or calling them at (888) 605-9786. NOTE: this option discontinued due to the depletion of funds in the California SGIP program.
  2. You may qualify for a free, portable battery if you use medical devices powered by electricity and live in a high fire / PSPS area. For more information or to apply go here

A battery has a limited amount of backup electricity. By installing solar + battery back-up, the solar panels can recharge the battery when the sun is shining. If you are a San Mateo County homeowner, you may qualify for up to $1,250 rebate on an integrated solar + battery storage system.

While Sunrun can install a new solar + battery system, if a customer already has solar panels from Sunrun or another provider, they cannot currently add a home battery to an existing solar system. They are working on a solution to providing batteries to existing solar panels but do not have details or expected availability at this time.

Can you add a battery to my existing solar?

If you are eligible for SGIP Equity Resiliency, Sunrun can install a standalone battery, but they are not able to connect to your solar. The battery will provide limited backup capacity but the solar panels can not be recharged by the solar panels. Information about SGIP and SGIP Energy Resiliency can be found here, or you can receive assistance from Sunrun by choosing “Learn more or apply” here, or calling them at (888) 605-9786

Can I get a battery if I do not qualify for SGIP?

There are several levels of SGIP. For a Sunrun standalone (i.e., without solar) battery, you must be eligible for SGIP Equity Resilency. Information about SGIP and SGIP Energy Resiliency can be found here, or you can receive assistance from Sunrun by choosing “Learn more or apply” here, or calling them at (888) 605-9786.

If you do not qualify for SGIP but are a San Mateo County homeowner, you may qualify for a $1,250 rebate on  an integrated solar and battery system.

Will my electrical panel be upgraded? If so, who pays for that?

Depending on your existing panel and the system designed for your home, an electrical panel upgrade may be needed. In that situation, the Sunrun team can walk you through the requirements and cost, which you would be responsible for covering.

What is meant by “up to $1,250’? How do I know if I qualify for $1,250?

San Mateo County homeowners who install solar and battery storage under the Power On Peninsula will get a $750 rebate. If they fully participate in the Power On Peninsula storage program, they will get an additional $500. By fully participating, you join a network of customers that provide battery storage for the grid. That is, the grid will use a portion of the electricity stored in your battery during peak hours. This helps the community move toward 100% renewable energy. Note that only a portion will be used, and you will have use of the battery and solar to recharge in the event of power outage.

How do I apply for the rebate? Do I apply with Peninsula Clean Energy or Sunrun?

You apply for the rebate with Sunrun. They expect that you will receive the rebate 4-8 weeks after the system is installed.

If I use another installer for solar can I still get this rebate?

This program and incentive is available only under the Peninsula Clean Energy / Sunrun program. Other installers may have their own incentive programs.

How much do solar panels cost?

The price varies since each system is designed for a specific roof and customer. When you request a free quote from Sunrun, they will include pricing and financing details to help you decide which option you prefer.

What is the pricing structure for a low income senior who wants solar (plus storage)?

If a customer is eligible for SGIP Equity Resiliency incentives, this may substantially reduce the cost of the battery and solar. Sunrun can review this and financing options with you.

How much will I save by putting solar panels on my home?

Your savings depend on several factors, including the size of your solar panel system, the angle and shading of your roof, and how much you spend on electricity. Many customers with solar panels can produce enough energy for all or nearly all of their needs. Sunrun will provide an estimate of savings.

What will a standalone battery do for my energy rates?

The backup battery will not affect your rates or energy cost, but will provide a limited amount of electricity in the event of a grid outage.

What will solar + battery storage do for my energy rates? How much will I save?

Your solar and battery storage savings will depend on several factors, including angle and shading of your roof and how much you spend on electricity. When you request a free quote from Sunrun, they will include pricing and savings information to help you understand the impact to your home specifically.

I am already a NEM customer…what will adding a battery do to my rates?

Adding a backup battery will not change your energy rates.

If I install solar+storage, who provides my bill and customer service?

You will still get a consolidated bill from PG&E/Peninsula Clean Energy. On a monthly basis this includes a fixed fee from PG&E for electric delivery services plus charges from Peninsula Clean Energy for energy you use from the grid that is more than you generate with your panels. During your annual ‘true-up’ with PG&E, you will be billed for any additional delivery fees and surcharges for the energy you consumed throughout the year above and beyond what your solar system generated.

If you generate more energy than you use, you will receive credits on your monthly bill to offset energy use in future months. Customers that have more that $100 in credits with Peninsula Clean Energy on their April billing statement will receive a check for the balance on their account as part of our annual NEM cash-out.

If instead of purchasing the system, you choose to lease it, you will be billed monthly for the system costs by Sunrun. Sunrun will be responsible for maintenance.

If you choose a Sunrun financed option (i.e. a lease or a loan product), you will also be billed monthly by Sunrun.  Sunrun can provide estimates of how much you will save overall for each of their purchase and financing options.

What will my energy rate be if I choose to lease? If I choose a PPA? How much can it vary from year to year?

Your energy rate is not affected if you purchase or lease the system. However, you will be generating electricity, so your usage costs from Peninsula Clean Energy can be decreased, eliminated, or you may get a refund, if you generate more than you use. If you choose a PPA, then you will buy the energy generated by the panels, at a reduced rate, from Sunrun.

Sunrun can provide a free estimate and explain their options and rates after receiving your application.

Can I get credit for my excess solar power?

Yes. If your panels produce more electricity than your home uses, the surplus energy goes back onto the electricity grid and you receive energy credits It may help to think of your meter turning one way when you use energy, and the other way when you produce it. You are billed only for any excess energy over that produced by the panels) that you use. Note that PG&E will also bill a fixed amount each month.

Am I getting the system from Peninsula Clean Energy or from Sunrun?

The solar + battery system will be provided by Sunrun. They will be responsible for assisting you during system selection, installation and customer service. If you opt for a lease or PPA, Sunrun will be responsible for maintenance.

What are my financing options and how do they work?

You have the options of purchase, lease or purchase power agreement (PPA).
Sunrun representatives can explain their purchase/lease/PPA options and provide a free estimate.

What happens to the panels at the end of the contract?

If the financing option you choose is the Sunrun lease or PPA agreement, then at the end of your agreement term, they offer three options:

  1. You can purchase the solar system at the fair market value.
  2. You can renew your lease with Sunrun on an annual basis.
  3. Sunrun can remove the system at no cost to you.

Who is responsible for service and maintenance?

Under a lease or PPA, Sunrun is responsible for service and maintenance. If you purchase the system outright, then you are responsible for cost of service and maintenance.

What warranty and energy guarantee does Sunrun provide?

Sunrun provides warranties on their equipment, 25 years of service and support for leased or PPA systems.
If the system generates less than their guaranteed power generation, they refund the difference.
Please contact a Sunrun representative or see their literature for details.

What if my electrical panel needs to be upgraded? How much might that cost and are there any incentives for that?

Changes may be required to your house electrical system or panel. Sunrun can provide free estimates of this cost along with the system, customized to your particular situation. Sunrun does not typically include electrical upgrades with their systems.

What happens if I want to sell my house?

Sunrun can assist in making the transfer to a new owner. Please contact them for details

What if a roof needs major repairs?

Sunrun typically does not recommend installing solar on roofs that require major repairs, due safety or water infiltration issues. Depending on available programs, it may be possible to bundle re-roofing with Sunrun solar installations.

What happens if something goes wrong with installation? What course of action may a customer take?

Throughout the installation process, Sunrun’s customer’s project coordinator will be the main point of contact. Their contact information can be found on mysunrun.com.

If any issues or questions arise, customers may contact the Sunrun Customer Care team at 855-478-6786.