Net Energy Metering Overview and Benefits

Our NEM program is good for you, and good for us: you’re getting the opportunity to save money and put your excess energy to work, and you’re helping us provide reliable energy when it’s needed most.

  • Net metering gives you retail value for the electricity you produce by letting you put your excess energy back into the electric grid and retrieve it later.

  • Your excess electricity now offsets electricity you would otherwise have to buy.

  • Net metering accurately captures energy generated to the grid and consumed from the grid, providing annual performance data.

  • Since your solar energy system is connected to our distribution system, you're helping to reduce the demand for electricity and supporting a cleaner energy future.

Understanding the Different NEM Programs


This is the most common program, consisting of one solar system(s) serving one meter. Excess energy returned to SDG&E during the day can be taken back whenever your system isn’t generating enough power. NEM customers have the option of an NEM or NEM-ST tariff, depending on whether they connected their system before or after SDG&E reached the NEM Cap. NEM-ST customers will pay a one-time, non-refundable fee of $132 and are subject to non-bypassable charges on the electricity delivered by SDG&E.

This fee does not apply to Qualified Customers under NEM-V-ST and VNM-A-ST or NEM Aggregated Accounts under NEM-ST.

NEM aggregation

This program allows adjacent properties on multiple meters, in the same customer name, to share one system’s output. This can be done through the billing account method or the generation output method (NGOM).

Under the billing account method, the customer allocates excess generation to other accounts. The generation is behind one meter. Excess generation offsets usage on adjoining meters.

With NGOM, the customer pays us to purchase and install a generation output meter and energy is shared with each eligible account. The generation goes to the grid and does not directly serve any load. The NGOM location must be approved in advance. Please contact Customer Generation at [email protected] or call 858-636-5585 for consultation.  

Virtual net metering (NEM-V and NEM-V-ST)

This program is for multiple meters at the same location to share the generation from a solar system. This program requires that you pay for SDG&E to purchase a generation output meter. ($900-$3,000) You determine by percentage how much energy is providing to each participating meter. This program is for residential and commercial customers. The meters do not need to be in the same customer name. Start by calling our Customer Contact Center to determine if each of the meters has the same transformer. If they do, the next step is to request a field visit from our Customer Generation Department to verify single service delivery point.

Virtual net metering (VNM-A and VNM-A-ST)

This program is for qualifying low-income residential apartment complexes, and allows tenants and common area use to share generation from one or more systems. You are required to have a generation output meter, which costs between $900 and $3,000. The tenants don’t have to share the same service delivery points. Generation does not serve load, but goes directly out to the grid.

VNM-A and VNM-A-ST customers do not pay the NEM Interconnection Fee.

NEM for fuel cells

NEM-FC is net metering for accounts served by fuel cells. The energy used by the fuel cells to produce electricity is not required to be renewable.

NEM Informational Matrix

An informational matrix of the Virtual NEM and NEM Aggregation tariffs has been prepared as a quick comparison of the above NEM tariffs for public convenience only. Please refer to SDG&E’s tariffs posted on the SDG&E website for the most current and accurate information.

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Informational matrix of the Virtual NEM and NEM Aggregation tariffs
Informational matrix of the Virtual NEM and NEM Aggregation tariffs

NEM Aggregation and Virtual NEM Checklist

A general informational checklist listing the major steps required to process the above NEM tariff programs has been prepared as a public convenience only. Please contact [email protected] to ensure the most current information. 

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A general informational checklist listing the major steps required to process the above NEM tariff
A general informational checklist listing the major steps required to process the above NEM tariff


Allows local governments to share generation across their area of jurisdiction between accounts in their name. These local government customers should start with their Account Executive if they are interested in this program.