Expanded NEM – Net Energy Metering

Expanded NEM is a Net Energy Metering program for residential, commercial, agricultural, or industrial solar, wind or hybrid systems that are 1 megawatt or less and do not qualify for Standard NEM or Wind Energy Co-Metering. Remember that you cannot interconnect your system with the grid until you have been authorized in writing by PG&E.

Recent Interconnection News
1/31/2011Solar Inverter Recall
10/22/10A6 Pilot Program Update -- Limited Space for New Applicants
06/14/10Community Choice Aggregation Program – Net Energy Metering FAQ (DOC, 36 KB)
11/26/07Transition from PG&E Electric Rate Schedule E7 to E6
10/1/07Expanded program re-defined
2/12/07Time of Use Rates and the new Daylight Saving Time dates
11/29/06New Disconnect Switch Policy

What is the application process?

Here are the application components:

Item RequestedPurpose
Application Form 79-974Provides important customer, contractor and system information about the project.

Note: If applying for an incentive through the California Solar Initiative, equipment information submitted on the Interconnection Agreement and the Incentive Claim Form must match. If there is a discrepancy, additional information will be requested before the incentive payment is made.
Supplemental Application Form 79-998Provides alternating current disconnect information and notifies PG&E of potential access issues.
Interconnection Agreement Form 79-978Legal contract between PG&E and the customer outlining each party’s responsibilities.
Single Line Drawing Diagram for technical review. Contact us if you have any questions about the make-up of this document.
Declarations Page of Home Owner Insurance Provides PG&E with information about your level of insurance coverage (if any).
Signed Off Building Permit Indicates that the project has been finished and approved by local building authority.
Copy of Recent Electric Bill for Project Site Verifies a customer’s account info for their project site.
Authorization to Receive Customer Information or Act on a Customer’s Behalf (PDF, 72 KB)Required if a third party is to handle application process. This gives the third party (usually the contractor) temporary authorization to act on the customer’s behalf and receive confidential customer information. Required for third party to receive a copy of customer’s Permission to Operate

A meter fee may also be required, depending on the rate schedule you choose. Check our document NEM Meter Costs by Rate (PDF, 53 KB).

Attention: PG&E may not be able to interconnect your generator if it is located in certain areas of San Francisco or Oakland. Please read our notice about Secondary Networks.

To expedite the application process we suggest you submit a completed Application Form 79-974, {Supplemental Application Form (79-998)} and Single Line Diagram as soon as possible, even before your system is built. This will allow PG&E’s engineers to review your proposed system and, if necessary, request modifications which may alter the total cost of your project.

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Here is the application process timeline:

Project PhaseRequired documentationTime Frame
Engineering Review Completed Application Form 79-974, Completed Supplemental Form 79-998, Single Line Drawing Typically up to 10 business days from receipt of documents
Pre-inspection (may be required if rate schedule is not A1 or A6)Engineering approval Typically up to 10 business days from engineering approval
Final Inspection Engineering approval, Net Energy Metering Agreement Form 79-978, Signed off Building Permit (finished project approved by local inspectors), Copy of Declarations Page of Home Owner Insurance, Metering Fee, if applicable PG&E is required to perform the final inspection within 30 working days of a complete application. You or your authorized representative will be contacted to set up an appointment for inspection.
Interconnection Approved, Contract & Permission to Operate Letter Sent to Customer by PG&E Confirmation by PG&E inspectors that project passed inspection Typically within 3 business days of notification that your project passed inspection

You can mail or fax the application materials to us. You can also e-mail soft copies scanned to a pdf file to us.

Our P.O. Box:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Attention: Generation Interconnection Services
Mail Code N7L
P.O. Box 770000
San Francisco, CA 94177

Our Street Address:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Attention: Generation Interconnection Services
Mail Code N7L
245 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Fax: (415)973-3050
E-mail: gen@pge.com

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Can I complete the application online?

You cannot apply for an Expanded NEM account online at this time.

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Why does PG&E need access to my meter and what kind of access does it need?

PG&E owns the meter, and needs reasonable access to read and maintain the meter to ensure accurate billing. PG&E also requires 24 hour access to the disconnect switch near the meter, so that PG&E workers may disconnect the system in the event of an emergency or to correct unsafe operating conditions.

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Why does PG&E need to inspect my generating facility?

PG&E needs to inspect your generating facility to ensure that it meets the utility’s standards on safety, as detailed in Rule 21. For certain rate schedules (such as E19 or agricultural), PG&E may also perform a field investigation/pre-inspection to review the project for safety and access issues, and determine the type of net meter that needs to be installed. A system with components approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC) will typically meet utility standards. However, there may be additional requirements depending on the ability of PG&E’s grid to accommodate the energy that may be exported by your generator at your specific location.

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Why and when do I have to fill out a form to authorize someone to represent me?

Information about your account is confidential. PG&E cannot share your account information with your contractor without receiving this form (PDF, 72 KB) providing your written authorization. The form can also be used to give your contractor the authority to complete most of the paperwork needed to apply for the net metering program. This permission is granted for a limited time frame. If you do not require PG&E to share your account information with your contractor and plan to fill out all the application materials yourself, then you do not need to submit this form.

The California Energy Commission may also require you to fill out an authorization form for them if you are applying for a rebate so they can access your account information.

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How much will it cost to participate in net metering? Do I need any special equipment?

Aside from the contractor’s bill to build the generation system, costs to participate in net metering will depend upon the scope, size, and complexity of your particular generation project. Possible PG&E costs include a metering fee depending on your rate schedule and present meter as well as utility equipment needed to interconnect your generator. The metering fee covers the charge to provide a net meter at your location (a net meter is a special type of meter capable of registering the flow of electricity in both directions). After the new meter is installed, PG&E owns and maintains this meter.

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Why do I have to notify PG&E if I add to or change the components of my generating system?

Your Interconnection Agreement (the legal contract authorizing you to interconnect to the electric grid) requires you to notify PG&E of changes to your generating system. Your new equipment will need to be reviewed by our engineers so we can assure the continued safety and reliability of the grid. If you have any questions about a modified system that has already been approved, call our Business Customer Center at 1(800)468-4743. We appreciate your cooperation.

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Will having my own generator ensure that I will have power during a blackout?

Blackout coverage depends on how your system is configured. The contractor who installs your system should be able to provide you with guidance on this. It is important to keep in mind that your system design must not allow your generator to export power to the grid during a blackout—this could cause serious injury. Another source of information on system design for backup power is the California Energy Commission's Guide to Photovoltaic (PV) System Design and Installation.

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Now that my generation system has been approved, am I off the grid?

Once your system has been given written approval by PG&E, it does not go entirely off the grid. Your system will be "interconnected," which means that it may export power to the grid, but when your generating system is off or is not supplying all of your needs, PG&E will still provide you with power. For safety, PG&E linemen may have to shut off your generating system from the grid if they need to do work on the lines near your site. Please co-operate to ensure safe working conditions for our workers.

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Why is Expanded Net Metering limited to generators 1 megawatt and under in size?

According to California Public Utilities Code 2827, net metering generators cannot be over 1 megawatt in size.

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Why can’t my credit apply to another of my utility accounts?

According to California Public Utilities Code 2827, your energy credit can only be applied to the electric account served by the generator. (The only exception is for biodigesters, under the NEMBIO program, such as dairies, whose biogas generators are often a far distance from parts of the farm where most electricity is used and is under a separate account.)

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Who should I contact for additional information?

For inquires about interconnection applications or technical questions about proposed systems, email the Generation Interconnection Services department at gen@pge.com or leave a message at: 415-972-5676 (please speak clearly and leave a call back number).

Business NEM customers with questions about their bill should contact the Solar Customer Center at 1-877-743-4112.