Net energy Metering (NEM) is an essential component of the growth in solar system installations. This allows solar system owners to monitor and facilitate their energy production. The solar customer pays only for the energy pulled from the grid over 12 months. The solar customer will only pay for the total energy they consume if their system generates more power than it uses. This statement is also called the true-up statement.

What’s A True-Up Bill, You Ask?

Do you know what is a true up bill? A true-up statement is simply a statement that utility companies send you at the end of your solar billing cycle. It usually comes every 12 months. Preparing for your annual true-up statement is easy if you review your monthly expected true-up costs, usually provided by utility companies.

How It Works?

Bidirectional means that your electric meter will work in both directions. Your electric meter is “bidirectional.” This means that it will measure the amount of solar energy produced by your solar system and run backward. The meter will also run forward every time you draw electricity from the grid. PG&E will calculate your net energy difference and add a credit or bill you for the energy you used. You will be sent both an annual and monthly statement. You should be able to read both bills so you can see if there have been any unexpected charges. Regular monitoring of your system will allow you to spot anomalies and prevent costly repairs.

Your Billing Statements

Under “Account Summary,” the first page of your monthly energy bills displays a snapshot. This section provides a summary of your monthly total electric and gas use. This section shows the current energy charges. Below is your NEM account summary, which gives you an estimate of your NEM charges for the current year. NEM billing allows you to choose whether to pay all or some charges. You will not be billed for any additional energy consumed beyond the amount you have produced until you receive your “True Up” annual bill.

As a solar owner, you are not required to pay your true-up bill. You must make sure your solar power is optimal each month. It is common for people to use more power when they first go solar. You have access to this account information each month. This means that you can estimate your annual bill using the current charges. A negative balance means you have been granted a credit for the following month. Net energy credits cannot be used to pay “non-energy charges” or any other account not covered by your NEM billing agreement.

The annual bill displays the sum of all monthly credits and charges. It displays the total amount due for a relevant period (the past 12 months). If it says you owe money, it will be due by the specified date. Because the credit was not extended beyond that period, it cannot be carried forward to the next month. However, if you are a true-up customer of PG&E, you will be compensated for any energy you produce through the Net Surplus compensation program. California State Assembly Bill 920 authorized payment to NEM customers that generate more electricity than they use in their 12-month billing cycles.

Monitor your usage as the True-Up bill date approaches. There are many reasons for this. You should first make sure you are prepared to pay any owed payments. You can also adjust the power you use to pay your outgoing balance.