Net Metering SDG&E FAQ

  • How It Works

    What is Net Energy Metering and who is eligible?

    Net Energy Metering is for individuals who own systems that use renewable energy sources such as solar systems, wind systems or other sources renewable and clean energy. For those who produce more energy than they consume, there are earnings and credits you can receive for the excess energy that your energy source produces. If you don’t already have solar panels or another form of renewable energy, this Q&A might help you answer some questions on solar savings and how you can cut down on your electric costs.

    Account Set-Up

    If I switch to Solar Energy, how will I know when my account will start billing on net metering?

    Billing under net metering will begin on the meter reading date preceding the final SDG&E inspection and authorization to interconnect your electric generation facility.

    Will my natural gas account be affected as a result of changing my electric service?

    Yes, your gas billing will be separated from your electric billing. You will now receive two separate monthly statements, one for electric service and one for gas service. Each will have a different account number.

    If my account is currently delinquent, do I have to pay the past due balance?

    Yes, your account must be brought current for service used prior to the net metering start date. For questions regarding late notices or required payments, please call 1-800-411-7343.

    Monthly Billing

    Will SDG&E continue to read my meter(s) each month?

    Yes, your meter(s) will continue to be read each month.

    What information will I receive on my bill?

    In addition to the information you currently receive, your bill will include a Net Energy Metering (NEM) Summary each month. This summary provides a monthly accounting of your energy usage and net generation credits, if applicable. Net generation credits accrue when you generate more electricity than you use during a monthly billing period.

    Is the Net Energy Metering Summary viewable online?

    Effective January 13, 2012, the Net Energy Metering Summary became part of your SDG&E bill instead of a separate insert. NEM summaries created January 13, 2012 or later can be seen by viewing your bill online through My Account, SDG&E’s online service. To register for My Account, visit For copies of Net Energy Metering Statements dated prior to January 13, 2012, call 1-800-411-7343.

  • Is there a minimum monthly charge?

    Yes. For residential customers on Rate Schedule DR, the minimum charge is 17 cents per day. For commercial customers on Rate Schedule A, the customer charge is $9.56 per month. For agricultural customers on Rate Schedule PA, the customer charge is $14.58 per month.

    What charges will be offset by the net generation credits?

    If net generation credits are accrued, the credits will be applied only to amounts that represent electric energy charges. Net generation credits cannot be used to offset other charges such as taxes, monthly minimum charges, customer charges, or demand charges.

    Why can’t net generation credits be used to offset taxes, minimum charges, and other monthly charges?

    These types of charges represent costs and liabilities to SDG&E that are not recovered in energy rates and therefore by law, cannot be reduced by net generation credits.

    Why am I billed separately for gas and electric service?

    You are billed separately for these services because there are different payment rules for each service. Bills for gas service need to be paid each month. If you are a residential or small business customer, your electric bills for net metered electric service do not need to be paid until the end of your 12-month settlement period, although you may continue to pay them more frequently if you prefer.

    Monthly Generation Credits

    If I generate more electricity than I use will I get money back each month?

    No. If you generate more electricity than you use during a particular month, you will have a net generation credit for the month. Any generation credits you earn for excess solar power will be used to offset charges accumulated during other months within the 12-month settlement period when your solar system doesn’t fully meet your needs and additional power is supplied by SDG&E.

    How do you calculate the dollar amount of my net generation credit?

    First we start with the excess amount of energy you generated for the month, which is determined by subtracting the number of kilowatt hours (kWh) you used from the number of kWh you generated. Then we multiply the excess kWh by the price per kWh to determine the credit you will receive. Because the price of energy can vary, we perform this calculation separately for each month your system generates more electricity than you use. The dollar value of your excess energy generation is carried forward and used to offset charges for energy supplied by SDG&E.


    Am I required to make a payment each month on my net metered electric account?

    If you are a residential or small business customer, you are not required to make monthly payments on your net metered electric account, although you can if you prefer. You will receive a true-up bill and NEM summary at the end of the 12-month settlement period advising you of the amount due at that time. The amount that is displayed on your SDG&E True-Up bill is the amount owed for the settlement period.

     As a net metering customer, am I eligible to participate in either the auto debit program or the pay-by-phone program?

    Yes, net metering customers can participate in either program. However, if you participate in one of these programs, you will not have the ability to postpone payments on your account until the end of the 12-month settlement period.

    Can I enroll or stay enrolled on the Level Pay Plan?

    No, the Level Pay Plan is not available to net metered customers.

    Can my electric service be disconnected if there is a past due balance on my net metered electric bill?

    Net metering customers are not required to make payment until a bill has been rendered for the last month of the 12-month settlement period. Therefore, during the 12-month settlement period, your electric service is not subject to disconnection for non-payment. However, if at the end of the settlement period there is a balance due that is not paid by the date specified on your bill, your electric service may be subject to disconnection. During the 12-month settlement, if you receive late or pink notices regarding past due amounts, please contact our 24-hour Customer Contact Center any time at 1-800-411-7343.


  • Annual Settlement

    How will I know when my yearly payment is due?

    At the end of the 12-month settlement period, you will receive a true-up bill and NEM summary notifying you of the annual amount due. The NEM summary included with your bill will also alert you that a payment is required. Payments on residential accounts are due within 19 days of receiving your true-up bill. Payments on commercial accounts are due within 15 days of receiving this bill.

    How will I know when the 12-month settlement period is up?

    At your settlement month, the top of the first page of your SDG&E bill will display your energy metering in a “Net Energy Metering True-Up Bill.” The bill will display the date payment is due along with the amount owing for the settlement period.

    Do I need to contact SDG&E at the end of the 12-month settlement period in order to continue as a net metering customer?

    No, your net metered billing will continue the following year unless we hear from you. If you are no longer using your solar system, please contact us at 1-800-411-7343 to return your account to standard billing.

    What information will you provide to me at the end of the settlement period?

    The NEM summary included with your true-up bill will provide a monthly accounting of your net consumption or net generation for each billing period during the 12-month period. The summary will also provide the dollar value of the net consumption or net generation, and the credit you received for your excess generation payment, if applicable.

  • Annual Excess Generation or Carry Over

    How can I tell if I have excess generation?

    This information can be found on the NEM summary included with your annual true-up bill. If the “Total kWh” displayed in the “YTD Totals” section of the summary is negative, you have excess generation and are entitled to a payment. The amount of your payment will be displayed as the “Excess Generation Payment” on your summary. If the “Total kWh” displayed is positive, you used more electricity than you produced over the course of your true-up period and do not qualify for a payment.

    How will I get compensated for my excess generation?

    A credit will be applied to your account. SDG&E will apply this credit to any outstanding bill amount that you owe at the time of your true-up. You may call and request a refund check for any amount that is left over, or leave it on the account to apply towards future bills.

    What will be the payment I receive? How is it determined?

    The Net Surplus Compensation (NSC) rate may fluctuate monthly, as it is based on a rolling 12 month average of spot market prices. Based on current market prices, the rate would be approximately 4 cents per kWh. Solar customers may also be eligible for additional compensation if you own the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). The California Energy Commission is in the process of evaluating the REC program.

    Why is my AB 920 payment less than the credit shown on my monthly NEM summary?

    The credit you see on your monthly NEM summary is calculated using the full retail rate for energy. Several components go into this rate, including generation, transmission, distribution, and the funding of public purpose programs. When SDG&E buys energy it pays a generator the wholesale rate for energy. Similarly, when you have excess generation, you will receive the wholesale rate for generation, like all other generators. The credit shown on your statement is calculated using the retail rate, which is higher than the wholesale rate because it takes into account several components in addition to the generation component.



When will I notice a change in energy consumption on my SDG&E bill? My consumption isn’t dropping as much as I thought it would. Why?

Because there are so many variables involved, it is not possible to accurately predict changes in consumption due to net metering. The size of your system, the weather, and the energy demands of your household or business each have a bearing on total consumption. Assuming your energy usage does not change, your system is properly sized and functioning, and the weather is sunny, you should notice a change in the first full month of billing on net metering.

Will my monthly bill show how much energy I use and how much energy I generate?

No. Your bill displays your net energy usage only. If you used more energy than your system produced, your bill and NEM summary will display the amount of electricity you consumed from SDG&E. If your system produced more than you used, your bill and NEM summary will display the amount of excess electricity you returned to the SDG&E grid.

If you’re looking to install residential or commercial solar panels for clean and renewable energy or for any other questions please contact our 24-hour Customer Contact Center at 1-800-411-7343.