Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I eligible for Net Energy Metering?
Any SDG&E residential or commercial electricity customer who generates at least some of their electricity is eligible for net metering.
The two basic eligibility requirements are:
- Your electricity generating system must be powered by solar or wind energy or a combination of the two
- Your system must not exceed one Megawatt of peak power output
- What are the benefits of Net Energy Metering?
Net metering allows you to get full retail value for the electricity you produce. It does this by permitting you to put any excess electricity you generate back into the electric grid and retrieve it later, free of charge.
Your excess electricity offsets electricity you would otherwise have to buy at full retail prices. This makes owning your own generating system even more cost effective.
- Are there any special inspections or fees to get my system hooked up the electric grid?
If you connect an eligible generating system after the NEM Cap is reached, a one-time non-refundable interconnection fee of $132 will be due with your application. It covers the costs to process applications and inspections for NEM, to make sure that your solar electric system is connected safely to the electric grid.
SASH projects (through Grid Alternatives) will not be charged the interconnection fee.
Systems larger than 1 MW will be charged according to the Rule 21 process and schedule.
- Will the electricity I might still need to buy from SDG&E cost me more than before I became a Net Energy Metering customer?
No. All electricity that SDG&E delivers is charged non-bypassable charges; and all customers pay this. Non-bypassable charges help with public purpose programs, nuclear decommissioning, and other specific charges. Customers under the original NEM tariff were exempt from paying these non-bypassable charges, which burdened non-NEM customers with those costs. Under the new rules for solar, NEM-ST customers will pay some, but not all, of the non-bypassable charges. So the electricity you get from SDG&E will not cost more than before you became an NEM or NEM-ST customer.
- How do I find out more about interconnection applications, electrical standards and permission to operate?
- How do I find out about NEM billing, rates, solar rebate programs and meter access issues?
There is information on our website about billing, rates and rebates, or you may call us at 1-800-411-7343.
- How Will You Be Billed?
Once you go solar you'll get two separate bills: one for the electric meter associated with your solar generation system, and another bill for your natural gas and any other meters. Your NEM electric bill will consist of charges for any electricity you use beyond what's offset by your solar system as well as a minimum monthly charge if applicable. While your gas and other meter bill will be due in full each month, as a residential customer you have the option of choosing what you pay toward your monthly electric bill. Pay as much or as little as you want each month as long as your annual energy charges are paid in full by your anniversary date, called the “true up” period.
Remember to stop automatic payments
If you don't plan to pay your bill in full every month, remember to stop any automatic monthly payments associated with your electric account or you'll continue to see those charges. Whatever option you choose you'll continue to receive a monthly bill as well as an NEM metering statement so you can see and manage your energy use.
- What if you produce more energy than you need?
If you produce more energy than you use during the year, you'll get a credit for that energy (called an excess generation credit) at the true-up period. At the end of your 12-month billing cycle we'll calculate the excess energy you produced minus the energy you purchased and pay you for any excess with a bill credit on your anniversary date. More detail regarding the true-up period, compensation and payment is linked below.