Net Energy Metering and Billing


The key to getting the most out of your renewable energy system is to understand the process. PG&E's Net Energy Metering (NEM) Program provides customers the ability to offset the cost of their electricity with energy their generating system exports to the grid. Below is information about how NEM billing works and information on Assembly Bill 920 (AB 920), recently passed legislation that adds a compensation option for net-generating customers.

How It Works

  • PG&E installs a "net meter" on a customer's property that measures the net energy-the difference between the amount of electricity supplied by PG&E and the amount of electricity exported to the grid over the course of a month. The customer's account is enrolled in the NEM program and put on an annual 12-month billing cycle.
  • The meter is read monthly and an amount is calculated based on the net energy recorded in kilowatt hours (kWH). If a customer exported more electricity than they drew from PG&E in a given billing cycle, the amount is deemed a surplus. If a customer received more electricity from PG&E than they exported, the amount is deemed a charge.

    The rate at which the charge or surplus is calculated is based on the customer's normal rate schedule which is requested in the customer's Interconnection Agreement. It is the same electric rate schedule that the account would be eligible for without a generating system.

    If a customer has selected a time-of-use or seasonal electric rate schedule, the account may reflect a surplus, even if the customer is not a net generator. The reason is that on some electric rate schedules, the rate per kWh is higher during certain times of the day and/or certain times of the year (e.g. summer season). If the customer is generating more than they are consuming during these periods, the rates at which they are credited are higher than the rates they may be charged for consuming more than they generate.
  • example illustrating how NEM billing works
  • The charge or surplus and the applicable meter reads are detailed in the customer's monthly NEM Statement. While this statement is not a bill, it allows a customer to keep track of their accumulating charges and surplus electricity. The customer will also continue to receive their regular PG&E bill for other applicable charges such as minimum charges, meter charges, customer charges, demand based charges and gas charges.
  • After 12 billing cycles, the corresponding charges and surpluses are reconciled, this is called the annual true-up bill.
    Any remaining charges must be paid and any excess surpluses are typically zeroed out.

Excess Energy: Net Surplus Compensation

If you generate more electricity than you consume over the 12 month true-up period, you may be eligible to receive payment called Net Surplus Compensation (NSC) for the excess energy.

Learn more about Net Surplus Compensation >>

How to Read Your NEM Statement

The Net Energy Metering Statement is a useful tool to understand current energy use and see how things are progressing—it provides a monthly and year to date snapshot of your accumulating charges and credits and the total net energy.

See a detailed explanation of your NEM Statement >>

Paperless Billing

You can download and view your Net Energy Metering (NEM) statement online at any time. Plus you can now further your green commitment by going paperless and stopping your paper statements.

  • Log in to My Energy
  • Click on "Pay & Manage" tab and the "Accounts & Services" sub-tab.
  • Under Services Linked to My Profile section, select the electric Service Agreement associated with your solar account.
  • In the top left hand section, click "View of Detail of Bill" to download your current NEM Statement or select a prior NEM Statement from the drop-down menu.

If your electric Service Agreement (from your NEM Statement) is not displayed in the "Accounts & Services" sub-tab, follow these additional steps:

  • Under Services Linked to My Profile section, click on Link Services.
  • Select the new service agreement and click the Add button.
  • Proceed with Step 3 from above.

If you would like to stop receiving the monthly NEM Statements and go paperless, please contact the Solar Customer Service Center at 1-877-743-4112.

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