Go Solar

The decision to install solar is a big one. Our goal is to provide you with quality resources to help you make the best decision for your household.

Solar energy is a clean and renewable source of energy that can allow you to generate power right from your own home or business. At TID, we welcome our customers to explore all their energy options, including solar. We want to provide quality resources to assist those interested in solar in making the best decision for their household.

TID’s Solar Calculator is an online tool that uses actual usage data from your meter and a map of your roof to estimate your solar savings potential and can help you determine if you could benefit from a rooftop solar system on your home.

Get Started Going Solar

The decision to install solar is a big one. Our goal is to provide you with quality resources to help you make the best decision for your household.

Consider your options:


Run the numbers using our Solar Calculator to see what the benefits and costs are of a solar generation system for your home.


Make your home as energy efficient as possible first before you install a solar system. Find ways to save energy and money using rebates from TID. The more energy efficient your home is, the smaller the system you have to buy.


Shop around. Get at least three estimates for reputable solar contractors, check their licenses and call their references. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, chances are it probably is. You can check a contractors license status at the California Sate Contractors License Board and check their rating with the Better Business Bureau.


Check out incentives such as tax credits and rebates that may be available.


Consider carefully your financing options. You can pay cash, take out a loan, lease or enter into a power purchase contract with a solar company. It’s very important that you understand ALL of the details and options, including fees, escalators loan terms, etc before you sign a contract. Also, if you’re not paying cash, consider the ramifications to the resale of your home should the need to sell it arise in the future.


Talk to TID. If you choose to install solar your TID rate schedule will change to a self-generation rate. Self-generation rates each have Customer, Demand and Time-of-Use Energy charges. Also, you will also continue to receive a monthly bill from TID. Let us help explain all the costs and fees so you know what to expect before you sign on the dotted line.

Call us at (209) 883-8254 or send an email to solar@tid.org.

Decided to Go Solar? Here’s What’s Next

For your solar contractor:

To apply for Interconnection, the following documents will need to be submitted:

Solar FAQs

Below are answers to commonly asked questions about going solar with TID.

I heard TID doesn’t allow customers to install solar.

Although we’ve given out all the available rebates for installing solar on your home or business, we have no rules against our customers installing solar if they choose. In fact since we’ve changed to the new Net Metering 2.0, we’ve had over 1,200 new solar installations totaling more than 41 megawatts installed in our District. Our philosophy is not to put up barriers to our customers installing solar generation as an energy option and the rate of installations in our District is proof that we’ve done just that.

If you’ve been told by a solar salesperson that we don’t allow solar systems to be installed or, that we put up unreasonable restrictions on their installation, shop around. There are plenty of installers actively working in our area.

What are Self Generation Rate Schedules?

There are rate schedules for our customers who wish to install solar, wind or other self-generation facilities on their properties of businesses in the Turlock Irrigation District service area. Below are links to the Self-Generation Rates.

Are there other charges I have to pay under these rates?

These rate schedules all have the same components: Customer, Time-of-Use Energy and Demand charges as well as taxes and fees assessed by government agencies. For many customers these charges are nothing new – they already have Customer, Time-or-Use Energy and Demand Charges on their existing rate schedules. However, for some customers new to the Self-Generation rates, the Demand Charge and Time-of-Use billing will be unfamiliar.

What is a Demand Charge?

A Demand Charge is a charge for the maximum amount of energy used in any fifteen minute interval within the billing period. TID stands ready to supply as much energy as our customers demand at any given moment. This charge is for TID’s costs associated with the infrastructure necessary to provide reliable demand service to our customers.

What is a Time of Use Energy Charge?

“Time-of-Use” or “TOU” simply means that instead of a single rate for energy all day and night, there will be a different rate during two different time blocks each day. The cost and value of power is different in the on-peak block than in the off-peak block each weekday, and customers can choose to use energy in the off-peak block at a substantially lower rate. This could also affect the credit or compensation of customers who generate more electricity than needed depending on which Time-of-Use block the generation occurs within. In summary, TOU recognizes the different value of electricity depending on the time of day.

Do you pay me for the excess electricity my system generates?

Customers are able to net their generation with their use each month for the on-peak and off peak periods. If at the end of the billing period the customer has generated more than they used, the customer will be credited TID’s Short Run Marginal Cost for the excess generation. The Short Run Marginal Cost will be published to the District website daily.

If I install a solar generation system, will I have to pay for a new meter?

When a customer installs solar they can opt to install a generation meter to properly calculate a net bill and track generation. That charge is typically $600 for an average residential system, but is optional.

Can I generate electricity on one piece of property I own or rent and apply the credit toward another property?

That’s called “Aggregation” and is not available under the current self-generation rate schedules.

Is there a limit on the size of system I can install under the Self-Generation rate schedules?

System sizes are not limited to a customer’s electric load under these rate schedules at this time. Keep in mind, TID reserves the right to perform an interconnection study or may otherwise limit the size of the solar system now or in the future. Contact TID for more information.

Will TID be making more changes to the Solar Rate Schedules in the future?

Customers that have installed or are considering installing solar should be aware that the District regularly makes changes to rate schedules and these changes could negatively impact your expected return on investment.

Will my house be a good fit for solar?

A house with a southern-facing roof with little or no shade is the optimal situation for solar generation. East and West facing rooflines can be used as well but their output will be decreased.Click here for TID’s Solar Calculator to help determine if your home is a good candidate for solar.

How does a solar electric system work?

Solar panels or photovoltaics, work by converting sunlight into electrical energy. This happens when certain types of semiconducting materials such as specific types of silicon are exposed to sunlight. When sunlight hits them, they emit small amounts of electric energy. This is called the photovoltaic effect. When linked together, these photovoltaic panels can create enough electricity to power external loads.

How do I choose a solar electric contractor to install my system?

We recommend that you get at least three estimates prior to agreeing to install a solar system. The emerging renewables program requires PV systems to be installed by an appropriately licensed California contractor. For PV systems, this requirement means either an “A” (general engineering), B or C-10 (electrical or C-46 (solar) contractor’s license.As with any project that necessitates hiring a contractor, due diligence is recommended. The California Contractors State License Board maintains records of all licensed contractors and their work history. These records can be access at (800) 321-2752, or on the board’s website at http://www.cslb.ca.gov.

What are the components of a solar system?

Solar systems are made up of PV modules which are commonly referred to as Solar Panels, racking to attach the panels to a sub-structure like your home’s roof, an inverter to convert the DC charge produced by the solar panels to AC and wiring to connect the panels to the electric meter.

How long do solar systems last?

Most systems have a warranty of 20 years. The average system degrades in output by approximately 1% per year. So, you can expect that your system which originally may have produced 1,000 watts of electricity when new will produce just 800 watts 20 years from now.

Will my rooftop solar electric system heat the water in my pool?

No. Solar pool heaters use a different process to heat water. Solar water heating systems contain solar collectors that either heat the water directly or heat a “working fluid” that then is used to heat the water. This process is called a solar thermal system. Solar thermal systems and photovoltaic systems do not share any components. Some people who install solar will switch their gas-fired water heater to an electric model in order to capitalize on the energy generated from their system.

Do rooftop solar systems require maintenance?

There is very little maintenance required for your home solar system. Your solar contractor can provide you with tips to keep your system operating at its best.

What type of roof can accommodate a solar system?

Solar contractors have created mounting systems for most commonly used roofing systems.

How much money will I save on my electric bill?

The potential savings will depend on several factors, including your current utility rate structure, the size of the solar system you install and the amount of sunshine your system will receive. Your solar installer should be able to provide you with an estimate based on those and other factors.

Will my roof leak?

Newer mounting systems have been improved to be more resistant to leaks. You should ask your contractor how the system will be mounted and the attachments sealed against leaks.

What size solar system do I need?

Several factors will influence the size of the solar system you need. Determining your present electricity needs is a first step in sizing your solar system. You should conduct an energy efficiency survey of your home or business before you determine the size of the system- by installing energy efficiency measures, you’ll require less energy and could save thousands of dollars on panels.

What happens during a power outage?

Your solar electric system is designed to shut down immediately for safety reasons, unless it includes a battery storage system.

Does a solar PV system have to meet local building codes?

Yes. You will probably need to obtain a permit from the city or county building department, and may be required to purchase a building permit and/or electrical permit to legally begin installation. A solar installer should be able to assist you with local permitting issues.