Getting Credit for Surplus Energy

We answer your most common questions about the Net Surplus Compensation (NSC) program.

Understanding Net Surplus Compensation

Your solar or renewable energy system is primarily meant to offset your own property's energy needs. Any additional electricity your business requires is automatically supplied to you by PG&E. At times, your system generates more electricity than your business requires—surplus energy—and that unused electricity is sent to the electric grid. The Net Surplus Compensation program pays you the fair market value for the balance of surplus electricity at the end of your 12-month billing cycle.
Each month, your PG&E SmartMeter™ measures the difference between the energy supplied to your property and the energy returned to the electric grid by your solar or renewable generator. The amount is recorded each month and, if you have generated more electricity than you have used over the entire 12-month billing cycle, you are entitled to Net Surplus Compensation. This amount will be reflected on the True-up statement that arrives on the last month of your billing cycle.
Check your True-up statement. If the amount of kilowatt-hours (kWh) in the “Total Energy” line item on the True-up statement is a negative number, your property has generated surplus electricity and you are entitled to compensation. If the Total Energy amount is positive, your property used more electricity from the electric grid than your system generated over the course of the True-up period, and you may be billed for this usage. In either case, be assured that your overall energy bills are lower, thanks to your green energy commitment.
There is no incentive for installing a system larger than your business needs. Compensation for excess generation through Net Surplus Compensation is set by the California Public Utilities Commission at a wholesale rate that does not justify the cost of an oversized system.

Credits and Compensation

On June 9, 2011, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the Net Surplus Compensation rate based on current market prices, which is between $0.03 to $0.04 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Payments to PG&E customers began on October 21, 2011.
Any Net Surplus Compensation you have earned will appear on your annual NEM True-up statement in the "Net Surplus Compensation" box on the first page. It also will be factored into the “Amount Due” on your 12th-month PG&E bill, and in the line item for "Electricity."
Any amount you have earned for Net Surplus Compensation will appear on your annual True-up statement. It also will be incorporated into the line item for Electricity on your PG&E bill at the time of your True-up. If the amount you owe is less than zero, you have two ways to claim your compensation. You may leave the credit on your bill to be used towards future energy charges or, if you prefer, you may contact PG&E to request a check. Any amount over $1.00 is eligible for payment by check.
At the end of your 12-month billing cycle, you will receive your True-up statement, which lists any Net Surplus Compensation you have earned. If you are unsure when your billing cycle ends, check your monthly NEM statement. The dates of the True-up billing cycle are listed at the top.
The credit you see on your NEM statement is calculated using the full retail rate for energy, which not only includes generation, but also transmission, distribution and funding for public programs. California Assembly Bill 920 mandates that PG&E pay customers at the end of the 12-month billing cycle the wholesale rate for surplus electricity generated, similar to the rate PG&E pays all other energy producers in the state.

Eligibility and Enrollment

Nothing at all. As an existing Net Energy Metering (NEM) customer, you are automatically enrolled. If your property generates surplus energy over the total 12-month True-up cycle, a credit will be added to your PG&E bill at the time of your True-up.
Yes. To opt-out of your Net Surplus Compensation (NSC) payment, use this Opt-out/opt-in form (PDF, 155 KB).
Most customers who move into properties with previously interconnected solar or renewable systems are automatically enrolled in PG&E’s Net Energy Metering program and Net Surplus Compensation. If your solar system is larger than 30 kilowatts (kW), additional steps may be required. For more information, please contact our Solar Customer Service Center at 1-877-743-4112.
You still will be eligible to receive compensation. However, if you have relinquished ownership of your Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to your system’s third-party owner, the amount you receive will be less. The reason is that the compensation amount is comprised of two components: the value of actual electricity generated, which you are entitled to, and the value of the renewable attributes of this electricity, which go to the holder of the RECs.
Yes. Each PG&E account owner, whether in a tenant unit or part of a common area, who participates in our Virtual Net Energy Metering (VNEM) program is eligible for this payment.
Each NEM account is treated separately, and you cannot combine accounts. Please note: You must be the PG&E customer of record to participate in the NEM program.
Direct Access customers are not eligible for this program. You will need to contact your energy service provider or community choice aggregator directly for information about programs they offer.
View this month’s Net Surplus Compensation rate information.

Net Surplus Compensation

  • California Assembly Bill 920 authorizes California utilities, including PG&E, to offer special compensation to customers for surplus energy sent back to the electric grid by commercial renewable energy systems. This program is called Net Surplus Compensation.

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