How to read your solar bill
Customers eligible for Solar TOU Period Grandfathering should review the FAQ Article below titled “How Do I Maintain My Solar TOU Period Grandfathering?".
Learn about the statements you’ll receive
Monthly Statements: As a solar or renewable energy customer, you receive a PG&E bill (Energy Statement) every month. The amount due includes only a monthly service charge, plus any additional gas or non-energy charges.
Download a sample NEM2 bill (PDF, 1.27 MB)
In addition, every month you receive a Net Energy Metering (NEM) Electric Statement. It provides details on how you are tracking towards True-Up with your current and year-to-date charges and credits in the “Energy Charges/Credits” section.
Annual True-Up Statement: After 12 months, your monthly net energy charges and credits are reconciled in an annual True-Up Statement. Any remaining charges must be paid and any excess surpluses are typically reset to zero.
PLEASE NOTE: If you were already a solar customer before December 16, 2016, meaning you received permission to turn on your solar energy generating system before that date, please use the below statements to understand your bill:
Get answers about solar billing
How does Net Energy Metering (NEM) billing work?
As a PG&E solar and renewable energy customer, you are enrolled in the NEM program to monitor both your property’s solar energy production and energy consumption. PG&E installs a specially programmed net meter to measure the net energy—the difference between the energy produced by your renewable generating system and the amount of electricity supplied by PG&E. Each month you pay only the service charge and any gas or non-energy charges. Your meter is read monthly, and the net energy usage during each billing period appears as either a credit or a charge on your NEM Electric Statement. These credits and charges are carried forward month to month for 12 billing cycles. The final amount is reconciled on your annual True-Up Statement.
What is the annual True-Up statement?
As a private rooftop solar customer, you will receive your annual True-Up statement at the end of the 12th month of your billing cycle. The True-Up Statement reconciles all the cumulative energy charges, credits and any compensation for the entire 12-month billing cycle. If you have a balance due after all charges and credits are reconciled, that amount will appear on the last PG&E bill of your 12 month billing cycle. By law, any remaining credits will be reset to zero before the beginning of your new 12-month billing cycle.
What factors affect my True-Up?
Many factors can affect your True-Up bill. Changes in your business or routines, such as adding more personnel, acquiring large new appliances, or charging electric cars on premises may result in higher energy usage. Remember, each solar system is unique and can be affected by other factors such as system size, roof orientation and weather.
Will I receive payment for excess energy generated by my system?
At True-Up, you may be entitled to compensation for the surplus energy -- if your system produced more energy that your property used over the 12-month billing cycle. The rate is set by California Public Utilities Commission at approximately $0.02-$0.04 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). As a private rooftop solar customer, you do not need to take any action to receive compensation. PG&E will determine your eligibility automatically at the end of each True-Up billing cycle and calculate any amount owed to you. Learn more about Net Surplus Compensation.
How is my bill affected by my rate schedule?
The rate at which a charge or credit is calculated is based on your electric rate schedule. When you become a solar customer, you must be on a TOU rate schedule, either remaining on your existing TOU rate schedule or request an interconnection agreement with a different metered rate schedule. Your contractor should help you understand the different rate schedules for which you qualify. Rates are subject to change from time to time based on CPUC rulings. Advisory: Some NEM customers on TOU non-residential rates may be grandfathered on their current TOU rate. To learn more, visit frequently asked questions about NEM2.
How do Time-of-Use rates affect surplus energy?
On a TOU rate schedule, your account may show a credit even when your system has not generated a net energy surplus. This is because the rate per kWh is higher during certain times of the day and/or certain times of the year. If your system generates more energy than your property consumes during these peak periods, the rates at which you are credited are higher than the rates you may be charged for consuming energy during non-peak periods.
HOW DO I MAINTAIN MY SOLAR TOU PERIOD GRANDFATHERING?
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a number of Decisions1 that allow customers with approved solar systems (who met certain interconnection-related milestones) to remain on Time-of-Use (TOU) rates with “legacy” TOU periods for up to 10 years starting from the first solar approval date (also known as Permission to Operate or “PTO”). The 10-year period begins from the first approval for solar, it does not restart with subsequent approvals (PTOs), and it will not exceed beyond 2027.
As described in PG&E’s advice letter 5188-E (PDF, 3.5 MB), to be eligible for “Solar TOU Period Grandfathering,” the customer must meet all of the following requirements:
- Submit an interconnection application with solar technologies by the applicable deadline:
- Public Agencies2—by December 31, 2017
- All Other Non-Residential Customers—by July 31, 2017
- Receive PTO
- Customers that submitted an interconnection application by the applicable deadline but did not yet received PTO by the time of mandatory TOU Defaults will be transitioned to an applicable TOU rate with revised TOU periods along with all other non-Residential customers. However, once PTO is issued, customers will be returned back to an applicable TOU rate with legacy TOU periods.
- The mandatory TOU Defaults are November 2020 for Commercial/Industrial customers and March 2021 for Agricultural customers.
Eligible “Benefitting” Accounts (Electric Meters)
In the case of interconnection applications for a solar program that included a “benefitting” account(s), the benefitting electric meters that were approved with the solar system are also eligible for Solar TOU Period Grandfathering for as long as they are in the same “Arrangement” as the original approved solar system. Here is the list of programs that have benefitting accounts/meters and are eligible for this provision: Net Energy Metering Aggregation (NEMA/NEM2A), the Virtual NEM programs (NEMV/NEM2V), Virtual NEM for Multifamily Affordable Housing with Solar Generation (NEMVMASH and NEM2VMSH), and Local Government Renewable Energy Self-Generation Bill Credit Transfer (RES-BCT).
Customers who are eligible (or will be eligible once PTO is issued) will maintain their eligibility as long as all of the following statements are true:
- The approved solar system remains operational at its current location
- Solar TOU Period Grandfather is location and customer-specific
- The eligible service agreement ID is in your name
- The eligible service agreement ID is on an applicable non-residential rate with legacy TOU periods
- Customers who submitted an interconnection request by the applicable timeline but have not yet received PTO will also lose their eligibility if they enroll in the rates with revised TOU periods. These rates are available beginning November 2019 (Commercial/Industrial) and March 2020 (Agricultural).
- In the case of a benefitting account/meter, the eligible service agreement ID is in the original, approved Arrangement
- Benefitting accounts added at a later date to the original Arrangement are not eligible for Solar TOU Period Grandfathering, and eligible benefitting accounts that are removed from the original Arrangement lose their Solar TOU Period Grandfathering.
Notification of Status
Customers with an eligible electric service agreement ID(s) will be notified of their status along with their expected transition date to the new TOU rate via bill messages and letters in November 2019. As described in PG&E’s advice letter 5039-E-A (PDF, 597 KB), Commercial and Industrial customers will be transitioned annually in November and Agricultural customers will be transitioned annually in March. Reminder: all Solar TOU Period Grandfathering will end in 2027.
Online Tools (YourAccount)
In general, TOU rates with legacy hours are better for customers with solar technologies. However, customers who also have storage paired with solar may experience greater savings by opting into the TOU rates with revised TOU periods. To do a rate comparison or to find more information regarding how you use energy, log into YourAccount. Reminder: the new TOU rates with revised TOU periods are available for Commercial/Industrial customers on November 2019 and for Agricultural customers on March 2020.
For more information about Solar TOU Period Grandfathering, review PG&E’s Electric Rule 1 (PDF, 2 MB) in the section titled “BEHIND-THE-METER SOLAR TOU PERIOD GRANDFATHERING.” To speak with a representative, contact the Solar Customer Service Center at 877-743-4112.
2 "Public Agencies" are defined as public schools, colleges and universities; federal, state, county and city government agencies; municipal utilities; public water and/or sanitation agencies; and joint powers authorities.