Getting credit for surplus energy
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Net Surplus Compensation (NSC) program
California Assembly Bill 920 allows PG&E and other state utilities to offer payment for surplus energy sent back to the electric grid by your home renewable energy systems. Our NSC program is based on this bill. Get answers to queries about NSC.
Understanding net surplus compensation
What is the NSC program?
Your home’s solar or renewable energy system is designed to supply your energy needs. PG&E automatically supplies additional energy to you, as needed. Surplus energy is returned to the energy grid when your system creates more energy than your home can use. We pay you fair market value for any balance of surplus energy that you have at the end of your 12-month billing cycle.
How is surplus energy measured?
Your PG&E SmartMeter™ monitors the energy supplied to your home every month. It also measures any energy that is returned to the electric grid. Over a 12-month billing cycle, if you’ve generated more electricity than you’ve used, you are paid the fair market value.
What is the notification process to view surplus energy amounts?
Check your True-up statement. If a negative number displays in the amount of kilowatt-hours (kWh) in the Total Energy line, you have surplus energy. If a positive number displays, you used more electricity than your system generated. You might receive a bill if you used more electricity than you generated. Either way, because of your green energy commitment, your overall energy bills can be much lower.
Can larger home generators be installed if energy usage increases?
No, it would not be worth the expense. The fair market rate paid for returned energy is a wholesale rate determined by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
Understanding credits and compensation
View the following answers to questions about credits and compensation.
What is the enrollment process to participate in the program?
You are automatically enrolled as an existing Net Energy Metering (NEM) customer. If your home generates surplus energy over the total 12-month True-up cycle, a credit will be added to your True-up bill.
Is there an opt-out option?
Can a home with an existing solar energy system be enrolled in the NEM program?
If you move into a home with a previously interconnected solar or renewable system, you are probably enrolled in the NEM and NSC programs. Additional steps may be required if your solar energy system is larger than 30 kW. Call our Solar Customer Service Center at 1-877-743-4112 for more information.
Is compensation payable when a solar energy system is leased or owned by a third-party company?
Compensation may be paid. The amount paid is less if you gave up ownership of your Renewable Energy Credits (REC) to the third-party company.
Compensation is based on two factors: the value of actual electricity generated and the value of the electricity’s renewable attributes. You receive the value of what is generated, and the holder of the REC gets the remainder.
Does this program apply to Multi-Family Affordable Solar Housing or New Solar Housing Partnership low-income customers?
Yes, if you are in a tenant unit or a common area and a participant in our Virtual Net Energy Metering (VNEM) program, you are eligible for compensation.
Are owners’ multiple NEM properties eligible for compensation?
No, each NEM account is treated separately, and you cannot combine accounts. You must be the PG&E customer of record to participate in the NEM program.
Can Direct Access customers participate in the program?
No, you are not eligible for this program if you are a Direct Access customer. Contact your energy service provider or community choice aggregator to find out if they offer programs.
Understanding program eligibility and enrollment
View the following answers about program eligibility and enrollment.
How much is surplus energy worth?
The NSC rate is based on current market prices. The rate averages around $0.03 cents per kWh and varies each month. The CPUC approved this rate in 2011. Payments to our customers began in the fall of that same year.
Where is NSC located on the energy statement?
Compensation is listed on the first page of your annual True-up statement. Find the box labeled Net Surplus Compensation. The amount is also factored into the amount due on your 12th-month PG&E energy statement in the line item for electricity.
How is compensation paid?
If the amount you owe is less than zero on your True-up statement, you have two compensation payment choices. Your first choice is to save compensation as a credit to apply toward future energy charges. The second choice is to request a check if the amount is over $1.
When are payments processed?
Payments are processed at the end of your 12-month billing cycle, on your annual True-up statement. The statement lists any NSC earned. If you don’t know when your billing cycle ends, check your monthly NEM statement.
Why is the NSC amount less than the credit on an NEM statement?
Your credit is calculated using the full retail rate for energy. This rate includes generation, transmission, distribution and funding for public programs. We pay you the wholesale rate, comparable to what we pay other energy producers. California Assembly Bill 920 requires us to pay you at the end of your 12-month billing cycle.
Get an estimate of the renewable energy system size you’ll need and its price, based on your home.
Receive a detailed bill of your energy use as a solar energy customer. Learn more about Net Energy Metering (NEM) and your bill by visiting the NEM page.
Find more information
Learn about contractors and self-installers by visiting the Net Energy Metering (NEM) page. You can also download these additional resources:
Download the Guide to Going Solar (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Download the new customer welcome kit (ZIP, 3.9 MB)
Standard NEM Interconnections