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Understanding Your Post-Solar PG&E Bill: A Quick Guide

Key Highlights

  • Deciphering your PG&E statement after going solar becomes easier with a grasp of Net Energy Metering (NEM).

  • Managing your NEM balance effectively can maximize your savings from solar power.

  • Adjusting energy usage and optimizing solar energy production can further save on your PG&E bill.

  • Solar panels last between 25-30 years on average, providing enduring value.


In an ideal world, you would savor the benefits of the sun's power without being troubled by cryptic bills. After all, your switch to solar energy was intended to minimize monthly expenses, not to earn a degree in quantum mathematics.

However, the arrival of your post-solar PG&E bill often appears more as a cryptic puzzle than a straightforward document, right? You're certainly not alone; numerous homeowners find the task of decoding these bills akin to tackling a challenging Sudoku.

Wouldn't it be great to have a roadmap to guide you through the labyrinth of your PG&E bill? A clear breakdown explaining your sunny savings, your energy expenditures, and their impact on your finances.

In the coming sections, we'll be that guide, helping you unlock the mysteries of your PG&E bill. So let's turn the light on, shall we?

Understanding Your Monthly PG&E Statement

So, your panels are basking in the sun, pumping out clean, green energy, and you can't wait to see those savings on your PG&E bill... but then you open it. Suddenly, you're staring at an array of numbers and terms that would make Einstein scratch his head.

Deciphering Your Monthly Statement

When it comes to your monthly PG&E statement, understanding is power. It's not just about "you owe X amount." It's a tale of your solar energy journey – how much you've used, what you've produced, and most importantly, the difference solar has made on your monthly bill.

So, how does solar panel usage affect your bill? Simple. Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar energy you use is a kWh you're not buying from PG&E. It's like your own mini power station, serving up energy savings right on your roof. And here's the clincher: if you're producing more energy than you use, you can even send it back to the grid for credits.

So, first of all, let’s start with (Your Account Summary) in your monthly statement, then we go down through the NEM sections.

Your Account Summary

The account summary gives you a quick look at the charges you've incurred, the payments you've made, and the overall amount you owe. You just pay current gas charges (if you have a gas account) and current monthly electric rates since you are a NEM customer. You are required to pay at least this amount by the deadline. It won't reflect actual electricity costs until your True-Up month.

Understanding Net Energy Metering (NEM)

Now, let's shine some light on Net Energy Metering (NEM). Think of NEM as your solar panel's best friend. It keeps track of all the energy your solar panels produce and the energy you consume. When your panels bask in the sun, they might generate more power than your home needs. With NEM, this excess power isn't wasted; it's sent back to the grid, spinning your meter backward and earning you credits on your bill.

The crux of NEM is this: it’s not just about how much solar power you produce; it's about the balance of power – your consumption versus your production. By understanding this balance, you can have a clear picture of the impact solar power has on your PG&E bill.

Sounds promising, right? In the next section, we'll break down this balance further, putting a magnifying glass to your NEM balance, and exploring how you can flex your solar power for maximum savings.

Managing Your NEM Balance for Maximum Savings

Empowering yourself with the knowledge of your solar energy system doesn't stop at understanding the basics. The real mastery lies in the game of balance – juggling your NEM balance for maximum savings. So, going down through your monthly statements, you see the following…

Your Net Energy Metering Account Summary

NEM Account Summary

This part is crucial for keeping track of the amount you expect to pay at the conclusion of your yearly True-Up period. Please take note of the YTD charges and their due dates (mm/yyyy).

Summary of Your NEM Charges

NEM Account Summary

In the graph above, you can see how much net energy you produced or used each month along with the corresponding charge or credit. In addition to a monthly snapshot of your net energy usage, which takes into account times on your Time-of-usage rate schedule, the chart gives an overview of the total NEM costs since the beginning of your yearly True-Up period.

Electric Charges

Electric Charges

To remain connected to the grid, all PG&E customers must pay the Minimum Delivery Charges each month. Utilizing this Minimum Delivery Charge, PG&E's system is used to transfer the power. The Energy Charge, which is used to cover the cost of PG&E's energy generation but has no impact on your monthly bill, may result in a higher balance at True-Up.

Explanation of Calculations

Explanation of calculations

In this part, we'll go through how to compute your True-Up bill's monthly Electric Charges and Year-to-Date [YTD] NEM Charges. These calculations will be used if you qualify for Net Surplus Compensation during your yearly True-Up.

NEM Charts

Both the monthly NEM costs and the total amount of those charges or credits over time are represented visually by these charges or credits. This graphic offers a means to keep track of and more accurately estimate what fees or credits will probably be at True-Up.

Flexibility and Opportunities to Save

Here's where your solar energy journey gets exciting. You're not just a consumer now; you're a producer. That's a powerful switch. You've got the reins, and with some clever management, you can steer your solar energy use to seriously sunny savings on your PG&E bill.

Say your solar panels are producing more power than you need in the mid-afternoon sun. Rather than selling it back at a wholesale rate, why not run your energy-demanding appliances during the day and save that costly grid power for the night? It's a simple strategy, but it’s one of the many ways to optimize your solar panel energy for maximum savings.

Alright, you've got the knowledge, you've got the strategies, but perhaps you want a little more guidance. We can help with that...

Want to maximize your savings? Our solar panel experts are here to help. Let's optimize your solar energy usage and keep your balance tipped in your favor.


How do you read a solar meter?

Reading a solar meter involves checking the digital display, which usually shows the amount of electricity produced. It cycles through various data, including total kWh produced since installation and daily production

How long do solar panels last?

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