Welcome to the Solar Billing Plan
In response to California’s changing energy needs, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently established a new Solar Billing Plan to modernize customer-generation energy rates.
What Is the Solar Billing Plan?
The new Solar Billing Plan helps promote grid reliability during the early evening, when the sun is down and energy use is high. The plan also helps incentivize solar and battery storage and control electricity costs for all Californians.
The Solar Billing Plan is based on the time-of-day price of energy used (imported) and the real-time value of a system’s surplus energy that is delivered back (exported) to the grid. Learn more about the CPUC decision.
Solar Consumer Protection Guide
The California Solar Consumer Protection Guide takes you through every step of the solar installation process, provides tips to select a qualified solar provider, and outlines your rights as a consumer. For instance, did you know that your solar provider is required to collect your signature on the Solar Consumer Protection Guide before submitting your interconnection application?
Timing of Solar Billing Implementation
If the completed interconnection application for your new renewable energy system was submitted after April 14, 2023, you will start temporary service on NEM 2.0. You will later transition to Solar Billing after SDG&E updates its systems and processes for the new plan. SDG&E is required to implement the Solar Billing Plan by Dec. 15, 2023.
Solar Billing Plan FAQs
The Solar Billing Plan, formerly called the Net Billing Tariff, is identical to the SDG&E Time-of-Use (TOU) plan, EV-TOU-5. With TOU, pricing is based on when energy is used (imported). The TOU plan for Solar Billing Plan has three time periods: on-peak, off-peak and super off-peak. TOU plans offer savings on energy used outside of the on-peak hours of 4-9 p.m., as well as during nights and weekends. Like EV-TOU-5, the Solar Billing Plan includes a $16 basic monthly service fee.
Yes, the $16 monthly charge is in addition to non-bypassable charges (NBCs) of approximately 35 cents/day.
You will receive bill credits for the surplus energy your system feeds back (exports) to the power grid. The Energy Export Credit you receive is based on the value of kilowatt-hours sent to the electric grid at each hour of the day.
The value is lower during off-peak TOU periods and higher during on-peak TOU periods. The export price is usually lower than the import price. If you have battery storage, you may be able to program your battery to automatically store energy produced by your solar panels during sunny hours, and then export energy during the most lucrative evening hours.
Yes. The Solar Billing Plan monthly bill will reflect charges for electricity used (imported) and apply credits for electricity delivered back (exported) to the grid. The bill will also include a $16 basic monthly service fee as part of the TOU plan.
All SDG&E customers, whether solar or non-solar, pay small charges that help ensure grid reliability and that low-income and disadvantaged Californians afford energy and access clean energy programs (non-bypassable charges). In months when there are excess export credits, the credits will roll over to following months until used or until the annual “true-up.” Export credits do not apply to non-bypassable charges.
Community Choice Aggregators, or CCAs, purchase power for you and deliver the power using the utilities’ electric grid. CCAs decide whether to offer customers a tariff if a customer wants to install solar or solar and battery storage. CCAs will determine how much to pay for the energy exported from the solar system and how much to charge customers for energy imported to their home.
The CPUC offers several community solar programs for low-income customers and customers living in disadvantaged communities. If interested, please visit: cpuc.ca.gov/solarindacs.
As a Solar Billing Plan customer, you can oversize your generation system by no more than 50% with two requirements:
- The measurement of oversizing will be in comparison to the past 12 months of usage unless you do not yet have 12 months of usage or attest to having more recently increased usage.
- You must attest to an expected increase in usage corresponding with the system size within 12 months of interconnection.
Net surplus generation will be compensated at the current net surplus compensation rates.
Customers need to submit a complete interconnection application, free of major deficiencies, by April 14, 2023, to take service and remain on NEM 2.0. The application shall also include a signed contract, a single-line diagram (SLD), a complete California Contractors State License Board Solar Energy System Disclosure Document, a signed California Solar Consumer Protection Guide, and an oversizing attestation (if applicable).
Additional FAQs About the CPUC Decision
The statewide decision does not impact current NEM 1 and NEM 2.0 customers. The Virtual Net metering (VNM) and NEM Aggregation (NEM AGG) tariffs will mostly remain in place with the exception of the following:
- The legacy period for VNM and NEM AGG customers will reduce to 9-years to align with customers of the SBP.
- The VNM tariff will now allow multiple solar arrays on one property to be treated as one generator for billing purposes.
- NEM Aggregation eligibility is restricted to customers who already have two or more meters as of December 15, 2022.
Even if a customer doesn’t have rooftop solar, the decision will help control electricity costs and improve electric bill affordability for all Californians by reducing overall costs to the grid.
D.22-12-056 has no impact on SDG&E’s Electric Rule 21 interconnection process.
No, the decision does not affect utility profits.