U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The Impact of Retail Rate Structures on the Economics of Commercial Photovoltaic Systems in California

To achieve a sizable and self-sustaining market for grid-connected, customer-sited photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar will likely need to be competitive with retail electricity rates. In this report, we examine the impact of retail rate design on the economic value of commercial PV systems in California. Using 15-minute interval building load and PV production data from 24 actual commercial PV installations, we compare the value of the bill savings across 20 commercial customer retail rates currently offered in the state. We find that the specifics of the rate structure, combined with the characteristics of the customer’s underlying load and the size of the PV system, can have a substantial impact on the customer-economics of commercial PV systems.

July, 2007
United States
Resource Type
Resource Source
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory