Designing PV Incentive Programs to Promote Performance: A Review of Current Practice

Publication Type


Date Published




To provide a point of reference for assessing the current state of PV incentive programs, and to inform program design efforts going forward, this report examines the approaches to encouraging PV system performance – including, but not limited to, PBIs – used by 32 prominent PV incentive programs in the U.S. We focus specifically on programs that offer an explicit subsidy payment for customer-sited PV installations. PV support programs that offer other forms of financial support or that function primarily as a mechanism for purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) through energy production-based payments are outside the scope of our review.The information presented herein is derived primarily from publicly available sources, including program websites and guidebooks, programs evaluations, and conference papers, as well as from a limited number of personal communications with program staff. The remainder of this report is organized as follows. The next section presents a simple conceptual framework for understanding the issues that affect PV system performance and provides an overview of the eight general strategies to encourage performance used among the programs reviewed in this report. The subsequent eight sections discuss in greater detail each of these program design strategies and describe how they have been implemented among the programs surveyed. Based on this review, we then offer a series of recommendations for how PV incentive programs can effectively promote PV system performance.

Year of Publication



Research Areas

Related Files