How to read your solar bill
Customers eligible for Solar Legacy TOU Periods should review the FAQ Article below titled “How Do I Maintain My Non-Residential Solar Legacy TOU Period Eligibility?”.
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 NON-RESIDENTIAL SOLAR LEGACY TOU PERIOD ELIGIBLITY?
To comply with California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requirements to better aligns electricity price signals with grid needs, PG&E will transition Non-Residential customers to TOU rate plans with higher prices during evening peak hours (4-9 pm), a shift from the daytime peak hours (typically 12-6 pm) under current "legacy" rates.
The (CPUC) also issued requirements1 that allow Non-Residential customers with approved solar systems who have met certain interconnection-related milestones to remain on Time-of-Use (TOU) rates with “legacy” TOU periods for up to ten years. The 10-year legacy period starts from the first solar approval date (the date on which the customer received permission to operate from PG&E) but will not extend beyond 2027, which is the end of the transition mitigation period.2
As described in PG&E’s advice letter 5188-E (PDF, 3.5 MB), to be eligible for “Solar Legacy TOU Periods” the customer must meet all of the following requirements:
- Submit an interconnection application for solar by the applicable deadline:
- Public Agencies3 - by December 31, 2017
- All Other Non-Residential Customers - by January 31, 2017
- Receive Permission to Operate (PTO) from PG&E
- Customers who submitted an interconnection application by the applicable deadline but have not yet received PTO by the time of mandatory TOU defaults will be transitioned to an applicable rate with revised TOU periods along with all other Non-Residential customers. However, once PTO is issued, customers will be returned to their applicable TOU rate with legacy TOU periods.
- The mandatory TOU defaults will occur in March 2021 for Commercial/Industrial and Agricultural customers.
For Eligible “Benefitting” Accounts (Electric Meters):
In the case of interconnection applications for a solar program that included one or more “benefitting” account(s), the benefitting electric meters that were approved with the solar system are also eligible for Solar Legacy TOU Periods for as long as they are in the same “arrangement” specified in the original approved interconnection application.
The Net Energy Metering (NEM) and other tariff programs that have benefitting accounts/meters and are eligible for this provision are: 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 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 Legacy TOU Period Eligibility is location and customer-specific.
- The eligible service agreement ID remains with the customer of record who was in place at the time of interconnection.
- The eligible service agreement ID is on an applicable non-residential rate with legacy TOU periods.
- In the case of a benefitting account/meter, the eligible service agreement ID is in the original, approved arrangement. Benefitting accounts added or removed from the arrangement after the original Permission to Operate (PTO) date are not eligible for Solar Legacy TOU Periods.
Notification of Status
Customers with one or more electric service agreement ID(s) eligible for Solar Legacy TOU Periods will be notified of their status along with their Legacy TOU Period Expiration Date via bill messages and letters in advance of the mandatory default transition dates for all other Non-Residential customers. As described in PG&E’s advice letter 5039-E-A (PDF, 597 KB), Commercial and Industrial customers will be transitioned to the new TOU rate periods annually in November and Agricultural customers will be transitioned annually in March, after their Solar Legacy TOU Period Expiration date. Reminder: all Solar Legacy TOU Period Eligibility will end in 2027.
Staying on Legacy TOU Rate Periods
Eligible service agreement ID(s) will remain on the current legacy TOU rate periods until their solar legacy TOU period expiration date, at which point they will transition to the new rates.
In general, legacy TOU rate periodsꟷwith daytime peak hours that coincide better with solar productionꟷprovide greater bill savings for customers with solar technologies. However, a particular customers’ consumption patterns, as well as the underlying rate prices, will determine which rate is best for a given customer.
Before your Solar Legacy TOU Period Eligibility nears expiration, PG&E will provide you with additional information on your rate transition.
For more information about Solar Legacy TOU Period eligibility, 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 For a limited set of customers, the 10-year legacy TOU period eligibility may start at the PTO for capacity added to an existing system. This would apply to customers who applied for interconnection between January 23, 2017 and January 31, 2017 for non-Public Agency customers and between January 23, 2017 and December 31, 2017 for Public Agency customers per CPUC Resolution E 5053.
3 "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.