Photovoltaic (PV) panels have long served as a cost-effective solution to provide power to remote cabins and homes built far from the power grid. To reduce the money spent on a home solar energy system, off grid system designers emphasize the importance of minimizing end use loads by using the most efficient lighting products and appliances available in the market, and foregoing certain unnecessary amenities.

The tiered rate system in California is an excellent mechanism to reward energy conscious households and penalize the energy hogs. However, an unintended consequence of this system with regards to the CSI is its bias toward creating a stronger financial incentive for residential energy hogs to invest in solar relative to their energy efficient counterparts.