Self-Generation Options under Rule 21

Most renewable self-generation projects are for a single account, such as a single-family home or commercial meter. However, in some cases, customers want to apply credits for the energy produced by a single generator to several electric accounts. For example, the Local Government Renewable Energy Self-Generation Bill Credit Transfer Program (RES-BCT)  program allows a local government to install up to 5 MW of renewable generation per location (account) within its geographic boundaries to offset the energy provided by PG&E and to export any excess energy to the PG&E electric grid for credits that offset charges at one or more other locations within the same geographic boundaries.  Similarly, NEMVMASH allows eligible customers to allocate credits from a single generator to multiple accounts at one or more sites.

The table below explains which Single-Account and Multiple-Account Self-Generation Programs are currently available under Electric Rule 21

What do you want to do with the power you generate?

Rule 21 Non-Export

The electrical energy produced by non-exporting generating facilities is fully used by the customer. From PG&E's perspective, at all times of the day the power produced by a customer's non-exporting generator should be equivalent to or less than the avoided amount of electricity PG&E would otherwise have delivered to serve that customer.

Interconnection requirements for a non-exporting generating facility are considered simplified because there is no risk of reverse power flow to the electric System and of unintended “islanding.” (Islanding is a condition where part of the electric utility’s system becomes disconnected from the rest of the system, continues to operate and creates potentially unsafe conditions for PG&E personnel and equipment.)

>>To apply, go to the (Form: 79-974)

Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Other Retail Programs

Net Energy Metering (NEM) allows customers with an eligible power generator to offset the cost of their electric usage with energy they export to the grid. With NEM, the customer pays only for the net amount of energy used from the utility. A specially programmed “net meter” is installed to measure the difference between the electricity the customer purchases and the electricity the customer exports to the grid within given time intervals. NEM customers are allowed to "net" their total annual energy exports to the grid against their annual usage. In some cases, when customers consume less energy than what they generate, the excess energy exported to the grid over this annual period is also purchased by PG&E at our avoided cost.

To qualify for net energy metering at PG&E:

  • Your generator size must be less than or equal to 1 megawatt (1,000 kilowatts).
  • Your generating system must be powered by an eligible renewable power source.
  • You are not interconnecting to a secondary network distribution line.
  • Your generating system components have been reviewed and approved by PG&E.
  • You have first established an electrical account with PG&E at the interconnection site. (If another company supplies your electricity, you must contact that company about net energy metering.)
  • You have completed and supplied all required documentation to PG&E.
  • You have allowed PG&E to inspect your system and install the required “net meter” accessible to a PG&E meter reader.
  • You have received written authorization from PG&E to operate in parallel.
Net Energy Metering in California is available for solar, wind, biomass, biogas, hydro, geothermal and other renewable energy technologies up to 1 MW. PG&E's NEM programs are: Standard NEM, Expanded NEM, RES-BCT and NEMVMASH. The methods of applying credit for exported energy vary with the program.

>> To apply for Standard NEM (solar and/or wind) <30 KW, go to Form 79-1101

>> To apply for Expanded NEM (solar and/or wind) 30KW – 100KW, go to Online Form: 79-974

>> To apply for NEM (non solar or non wind), go to Online Form: 79-974

>> To apply for NEM MT, go to Online Form: 79-974

>> To apply for NEM FC, go to Online Form: 79-974

>> To apply for NEMVMASH Multi-Family – same delivery point – go to Form 79-1109

>> To apply for NEMVMASH Multi-Family – different delivery point, go to Form 79-1124

>> To apply for RES-BCT, go to Form 79-974

Rule 21 Export or Wholesale Distribution

Technically, power exported to the electric grid for sale—regardless of the buyer—has the same requirements as Net Energy Metered export, but it differs significantly on a contractual and jurisdictional basis. Power exported from a generator connected to the Distribution System may be sold under Rule 21 in only one way, and that is to PG&E under a PURPA Power Purchase Agreement. Any other type of resale is considered a wholesale transaction, and the customer must apply under the FERC wholesale tariff and sign a Wholesale Distribution Tariff (WDT) agreement with PG&E.

>> To apply for Rule 21 Export, go to Online Form 79-1145

>> To apply for Wholesale Distribution, go to the Online Form

Of course, if you can't find what you need, you can always contact PG&E. Our EGI team members are happy to help. You'll find contact information on the pages specific to your type of project, or email
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