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Additional NSHP Information

Solar/PV systems add to the value of an energy-efficient new home.

How to Apply to the New Solar Homes Partnership

Note: If you want a rebate for a solar system on an existing home or if the solar system will be for a nonresidential application, you will need to apply to the California Public Utilities Commission's California Solar Initiative program (see CSI program page).


If you're a builder/developer and you are interested in integrating a solar panel on your planned housing development, make sure the location of the custom home or housing development is/will be receiving electric service from an eligible utility (i.e., PG&E, SCE, SDG&E, or BVE). Documentation of service will be required.

Order or Download a NSHP Guidebook from the California Energy Commission. The NSHP Guidebook will give you complete information about the Program, tell you how to apply for your rebate, and provide the forms you will need.

Contact an energy consultant, who is certified as a Certified Energy Plans Examiner (CEPE) by the California Association of Building Energy Consultants (CABEC), to complete Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards compliance analysis and energy efficiency documentation for the NSHP and the utility new construction energy efficiency programs. Let that person know that you will want them to analyze how best to meet the Tier I or Tier II energy efficiency levels for each residential building that is needed for program participation. Arrange for them to complete the analysis and the CF-1R form for each home.

You may wish to contact several renewable energy retailers about your project before deciding on equipment type and retailer/vendor. A database of registered retailers and vendors selling eligible equipment is available online.

Determine who will be completing the expected performance analysis for each PV system using the NSHP PV Calculator. This might be the same energy consultant who does your energy efficiency analysis, or the retailer/vendor of the PV equipment. Arrange for the expected performance analysis to be completed and documented on the CF-1R-PV form. The person who completes the analysis and documentation must be familiar with the correct input to make for each PV system you plan to install for each of the input parameters in the PV Calculator. The energy consultant will need to coordinate with your retailer/installer to review the site plan for each home or know that you intend to meet the California Flexible Installation criteria.

Prepare to apply for the permit for your PV systems with the appropriate city/county building department.


Select eligible equipment (PV modules, inverter, and meter) to purchase for each home.

At this time, you will also have to choose a licensed contractor who will install the system(s). Contractors must have an active A, B, C-10, or C-46 license.


Fill out the Reservation Application Form NSHP-1 in the Guidebook. The application form and other forms can also be downloaded separately from the Documents/Forms page.

Include the supporting documents specified in the guidebook and summarized at the bottom of the Reservation Application Form.


Contact your utility's new construction energy efficiency program to determine the level of incentives that they offer for energy efficiency as well as information on their program requirements. Expect to complete a program application, and provide the CF-1R at the time of application.


Make sure your application package conforms to the instructions and directions in the NSHP Guidebook to avoid submitting an incomplete application and delaying the review/approval process.

Mail the completed Reservation Application Form and required supporting documentation to the Program Administrator:

Program Administrators'
Contact Information and Addresses


The Energy Commission will review your application for eligibility and send you an Approval Form (NSHP-2 or NSHP-1.6) when your application for a reservation has been approved.

System installations eligible for the base incentive must be completed within 18 months from the date your reservation is approved.

Systems installed on qualifying developments and affordable housing must be completed within 36 months of the approval date. When applicable, be aware of checkpoint requirements. See the NSHP Guidebook for additional information.


Contact one of the Energy Commission's approved Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Providers to arrange for field verification by a certified HERS Rater. The process for arranging for field verification for the energy efficiency measures should follow the program participation requirements for your utility new construction program. You may wish to use the same HERS Provider and HERS Rater for field verification for each PV system. Provide the CF-1R for the energy efficiency measures and the CF-1R-PV for the PV systems to the HERS Provider's data registry as specified by the HERS Provider.


Have the energy efficiency measures and the PV systems installed consistent with the CF-1R and CF-1R-PV forms. If there are any changes to the energy efficiency measures that are not consistent with the CF-1R form, notify the utility new construction energy efficiency program at the time of the change to obtain approval for the change according to the program participation requirements. Changes to either the energy efficiency measures or the PV system installation must be documented in a revised CF-1R or CF-1R-PV form. Revised documentation must be submitted to the utility new construction energy efficiency program and provided to the HERS Provider for inclusion in the HERS Provider's data registry as specified by the HERS Provider. Make sure that the installer(s) completes the CF-6R form for the energy efficiency measures for each home, including diagnostic testing if necessary, and the CF-6R-PV form for each PV system, making all needed system checks. Provide copies of each CF-6R and CF-6R-PV to the HERS Rater. The builder must provide to the installer and the HERS Rater a site plan that a) identifies the species of all pre-existing, planted and planned trees and the location and height of any structures which will be built on the lot and neighboring lots of the building with the solar system; and b) shows the bearing of the property lines and the azimuth, and tilt or roof pitch of each PV array.


Arrange to have the installed energy efficiency measures field verified by the HERS Rater. Once each PV system has been installed, permitted and is operational, have it field verified by the HERS Rater. The HERS Rater completes the diagnostic testing and field verification for each of the energy efficiency measures needed to meet Tier I or Tier II levels and completes the CF-4R form. The HERS Rater also completes the field verification of each PV system and completes the CF-4R-PV form. Both the CF-4R and the CF-4R-PV forms must be generated through the HERS Provider's data registry. If the CF-4R or CF-4R-PV forms indicate that the actual energy efficiency measures or the actual PV installation is inconsistent with the CF-1R or the CF-1R-PV, either the installation must be changed to correct the problem or the CF-1R or the CF-1R-PV must be changed to match the actual installations, continuing to meet the energy efficiency Tier levels and revising the PV system rebate calculation. See STEP 8 for required notification of changes to the utility new construction energy efficiency program and HERS Provider.


Complete and mail your Rebate Payment Claim form NSHP-2 or General Approval/Reservation Update form NSHP 1.6 with all supporting documents to the address shown above in Step 5. See the checklist on the Payment Claim Form for required supporting documents. Make sure that the final rebate calculations on the CF-1R-PV are consistent with the final CF-4R-PV for each PV system.


For questions about the New Solar Homes Partnership Program contact:

Phone: 1-800-555-7794 (in Calif.) or 916-654-4058 (outside Calif.)