Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Net Billing Tariff (NBT) for Business and Government Customers
RCEA is dedicated to supporting customers like you to generate your own renewable energy. As a NEM or NBT customer with RCEA you buy energy at lower rates and receive credits for excess energy supplied to the grid.
New solar customers will be automatically enrolled into the program. When you complete the solar interconnection agreement with PG&E, you will be enrolled with RCEA.
How Does the Program Work?
If you generate more electricity than you use, each month RCEA will credit you at your retail generation rate plus an additional $0.01/kWh bonus. Those surplus credits will be rolled over to the next month for you to use later in the year or cash out in May.
If you use more electricity than you produce you will be charged for the difference at slightly lower rates than PG&E. See www.pge.com/cca for rate details.
Here is a copy of our Rate Schedule (PDF). As a grid-connected customer with solar or other renewable energy systems you can be on any rate schedule you would have been on otherwise.
End of the Year Payout
In May, RCEA will automatically send out a check to all NEM customers with a credit of $100 or more in their credit balance with a cap of $5,000. If your credit exceeds $5,000 the excess will be rolled over to the following bill cycle.
If the credit amount is below $100, those credits will be rolled over to the following billing cycle for you to use later.
RCEA’s generation charges are billed monthly. This means that there will not be a large bill at the end of the year like with PG&E . Your delivery charges are still billed through PG&E, and will continue to be billed on a yearly cycle.
“Year-at-a-Glance” RCEA / PG&E bill comparison” for customers that consume more energy than they produce.
Opt up to 100% renewable energy with REpower Plus!
For a $0.01/kWh premium, upgrading to 100% renewable energy ensures that you are always using 100% renewable energy even if the sun isn’t shining. If you are a net generator you will earn an extra $0.01/kWh for the energy you produce.
The following NEM Sample Bill provides an explanation of the RCEA and PG&E charges for NEM customers.
View and/or download the sample bill shown below as a PDF.
Net Billing Tariff
In December 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a new tariff that replaced the Net Energy Metering (NEM) tariff.
The NEM tariff has closed to new customers on April 14, 2023. The replacement tariff, known as the Net Billing Tariff, or PG&E’s Solar Billing Plan, is expected to be implemented by December 2023.
See the CPUC’s summary below to learn more and call us at (707) 269-1700 if you have questions and to discuss recent developments.
RCEA’s Net Billing Tariff can be found here.
Click to expand and read more
The following “Customer Explanation of Net Billing Tariff” was provided by the CPUCP as an appendix to their decision adopting the Net Billing Tariff (NBT), with revisions to reflect key NBT provisions for non-residential customers. More changes are anticipated in the coming months.
How Electricity Bill Savings Work
If you install solar at your home, the majority of your electric bill savings will come from reducing the amount of electricity that you buy, or import, from your electricity provider. A minor, additional amount of bill savings will come from your provider’s Net Billing program. Net Billing provides financial credits on your bill when your solar system sends, or exports, excess electricity to the electric grid. If you are the original PG&E customer who installed solar on your roof, you will have Net Billing for at least 9 years from the time your solar system starts operating. This is known as the “legacy period.”
Importing and Exporting Electricity
Since the sun isn’t always shining, most solar customers also rely on electricity from the electric grid. Your monthly electric bill will summarize how much electricity your place of business imported from and exported to the electric grid, and the resulting overall charge or credit due to your account. Pairing a battery with your solar system allows you to store your excess solar energy from sunlit hours and use the stored energy at your place of business during part of the evening.
PG&E solar customers are required to go on an electrification time-of-use (TOU) rate plan. On a TOU rate plan, prices for the energy you import from the electric grid are highest during the “peak” period. For example, on some TOU plans, the peak period occurs between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. The electricity rates in each plan, and which plans are allowed for use with Net Billing, are subject to change; go to cpuc.ca.gov/electricrates for details.
In addition to charges for energy you import, you may see non-bypassable charges and a fixed charge listed on your electric bill.
- All customers pay small charges to help maintain the electric grid and help low-income and disadvantaged Californians afford energy and access clean energy programs. These are called non-bypassable charges since you cannot bypass them using solar bill credits.
Bill Credits for Exports
You will receive bill credits at a set price per unit (kilowatt-hour) of electricity exported, based on the electricity’s value to the electric grid in each hour of the day. The price will usually be lower than what you pay for a kilowatt-hour of electricity. The value generally follows TOU periods, meaning you will receive low prices for energy exported during the non-peak periods. If you want to maximize your bill credits, you can shift your usage during your “peak” period when prices are highest. If you have a battery, you may be able to program it to automatically store up energy produced by your solar panels during sunny hours, and then export energy during the peak hours.
If PG&E receives your solar interconnection application before the end of 2027, then for the first nine years after your solar system is active, prices will be based on what was predicted before you installed solar, to provide a measure of certainty for the purpose of predicting bill savings. However, you may opt out of this arrangement. After nine years, or if you opt out or apply to connect your system after 2027, the prices you receive will be set every two years. They can rise or fall but are not expected to change drastically each year.
Avoided Cost Calculator Plus Adder (“ACC Plus”)
The “ACC Plus” is a transitional mechanism that provides higher than normal bill credits for residential customer energy exports. Commercial customers are not eligible for the Avoided Cost Calculator Plus Adder (“ACC Plus”).
Monthly Payments and Net Surplus Compensation
Even though installing solar can reduce your electricity costs, most Net Billing customers will still pay electric bills in most months of the year. All customers will pay net charges each month. In months when there are excess solar bill credits, the credits will roll over to following months, until they are used up or it is time for your annual “true-up.” Though it’s rare, if you export more electricity than you import in a 12-month period, you will be paid “net surplus compensation” of a few cents per excess kilowatt-hour. Because this rate is so low, it is generally not in your financial interest to install a solar system that produces much more energy than you use.
The nine-year NBT legacy is linked to the customer who originally causes the system to be installed, not to the system itself. If the customer moves away within nine years from system’s permission to operate and another utility customer takes control of (e.g., buys, leases, or pays for a power purchase agreement) the system, the subsequent utility customer does not have a legacy period. There are three exceptions to this:
- For residential customers: when the subsequent customer is or was the legal partner (e.g., spouse or domestic partner) of the customer who installed the REGF.
- For non-residential customers: when the account-holding entity continues to be majority controlled by the same underlying individuals or entities from the time the legacy system was installed by the original customers.
- When a builder/contractor constructs a new building and receives permission to operate before selling the unit. In such cases, the new owner will retain the nine-year legacy period starting from the date of permission to operate.
Customers receiving service on this tariff must have metering and data communication capabilities necessary to render accurate bills under NBT. Net billing should be accomplished using a single meter capable of metering intervals required for billing under NBT: the non-residential interval is 15 minutes.
Additional details on the treatment of non-residential customers under the NBT are provided in the table below.
[The chart above is illustrative and exact prices per kilowatt hour are forthcoming. Both the import and export values align with the y-axis. For example, in hour 1, the import price is ~$0.20/kWh and the export price is ~$0.05/kWh.]
NEM NBT Comparison Chart
Click on charts to enlarge.