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Customer Connected Solar

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Customer Connected Solar is associated with customers who generate at least a portion of the electricity they use through means of solar PV, wind, biomass from animal waste, fuel cell, or other qualifying renewable energy generating systems.

Customers that generate their own electricity, and are connected to the utility's distribution grid, offset electricity that would otherwise be purchased from the utility.

There may be times when the customer's system generates more electricity than the home needs. In these cases, a credit is issued to the customer's account for the extra power that can be used during the following month(s) until the annual true-up. In other words, the customer will only pay for the energy that PSE provides.

Benefits of Customer Connected Solar:

  • Creates a reduction in electricity bills.
  • Customer Connected Solar ensures that the customer's system is connected to the utility's grid, so even during cloudy or windless days, there is always a dependable source of electricity.

How Customer Connected Solar works

A net meter is capable of measuring both the electricity supplied by the utility as well as any excess supplied by the customer's system back to the grid.

One of the primary benefits of Customer Connected Solar is that when a customer's home requires less electricity, like when everyone is at work or school, the system may still produce electricity. When the system is connected to the grid, that electricity is being put back into the grid. The difference between what the home uses from PSE versus what they system generates is the "net" in Customer Connected Solar.

To apply, customers can use our online portal  to submit an application to create an online account.

Information for system installers:

All customer generation system applications and schematics should be approved in writing by PSE before a system is installed. Learn More. »

Solar PV Generating System graphic Solar PV Generating System graphic 

Typical generating systems include:

  • The mode of generation, such as solar PV, wind generators, small-scale hydro, and biomass.
  • An inverter, which converts the DC (direct current) energy produced to AC (alternating current).
  • A disconnection device, which ensures system safety for PSE employees and customers.
    The type of device depends on the total output capacity of the system.


Here are a few of many websites and guides that offer useful renewable energy information:

Glossary of terms

The following terms may be helpful as you go about estimating and constructing your electrical generating system.


PSE customers who have enrolled in PSE's Customer Connected Solar program and have signed an interconnection agreement with PSE, becoming potential suppliers (generators) of electricity to PSE.


Inverters convert the DC (Direct Current) voltage that the generator creates to AC (Alternating Current) at either 120 volts or 240 volts. The inverter sends the AC voltage into the home's circuit breaker panel, where it is distributed to the home or electricity grid through the net meter.

Hydroelectric generation or "micro hydro"

An electrical generating system using water as the means to turn an electrical generator. These systems sometimes use a waterwheel, similar to those used since medieval times. They can have a vast range of sizes and operating characteristics.

Customer Connected Solar

The process of calculating the electricity used by a Customer-Generator versus the amount of electricity generated by a qualifying generating system owned/operated by the customer-generator.

Solar PV

Solar systems using PhotoVoltaic (PV) modules. These modules are typically made out of silicon and can be found in many commonly-used products, including calculators. The modules are assembled into arrays or panels that are capable of generating anywhere from 100 to over 200 watts of electricity per array. Typical solar PV system capacities range from one kilowatt (or 1,000 watts) to over 10 kilowatts.

To learn more terms, visit:

Consumer protection—what to do before you buy!

  1. Get 2-3 bids on your project. Houses have unique rooflines, shading and existing electrical services so the cost of each project can vary. Consumers can get the best deal by asking more than one PV installer for a quote.
  2. Know your installer. Some installers have a good record over many years locally, while some are new to the business. Get references and then call them.
  3. Understand your warranties. The panels should last about 25 years while the inverter will typically last about 10 years. In the Puget Sound area 1 kW of PV should produce about 1,000 kWh per year, and produce 1,400 kWh per year in eastern Washington.
  4. Learn about your payback. Each bid should provide you with an estimate of payback period based on system cost, tax benefits, subsidies and future costs.
  5. Watch for shade. Shade will reduce your system’s output. Your installer should discuss this issue with you.
  6. Call PSE. PSE can answer any questions before you buy. PSE can provide you with the names of two contractors who have been vetted for quality and trust.