There are several advantages to using solar panels! Actually, A lot of California homeowners wish they had done so years ago. They do have a learning curve, and it’s crucial to know what to expect to avoid unpleasant surprises, such as your true-up cost.
Your relationship with PG&E will definitely alter if you opt to go solar. One of the most significant changes will be the addition of a yearly statement known as a true-up bill. This statement combines all of your annual power charges and credits into a single invoice.
The true-up bill might be perplexing for many property owners. This blog will explain what a true-up bill is, why it may be so expensive, and what you can do to reduce or eliminate yours.
The bill that the utility sends you at the end of your solar billing period is known as a true-up statement. Because the solar billing cycle is typically 12 months, you should expect to get your first true-up statement at the end of your first year as a solar client. The true-up statement reconciles all accumulated energy costs, credits, and any compensation you may be entitled to throughout the course of the solar billing cycle.
If there is an outstanding balance after all charges and credits have been reconciled, it will display on your true-up statement. If you have additional credits, your utility will either reset them to zero (normal) or roll them over to the following solar billing cycle, depending on your interconnection agreement.
PG&E’s true-up energy statement will include:
In other words, the true-up bill gathers and reconciles your yearly, cumulative energy costs, credits, and any net generation compensation for the billing period.
If you still have an outstanding balance after the utility provider reconciles your credits, the true-up statement will show this. Depending on your utility agreement, it will also reset any existing credits to zero or carry them over into your next solar billing period.
Every utility client has a meter that records how much electricity they use and when they use it so that the utility may bill them correctly. When the sun shines, solar users generate their own power, sending any excess energy back to the grid. They also often purchase electricity from the utility when the sun isn’t shining. You pay the utility for the energy you consume from the grid when the sun isn’t shining, less the credit you receive for the solar energy you give back to the grid. That procedure is known as “net metering.”
Your meter is “bidirectional.” This means that your electric meter will run backward when measuring the energy produced by your solar system. It will also run forward every time you draw power from the grid. PG&E will either credit your account or charge you for using more energy than you generated. As previously indicated, you will receive a monthly and annual billing statement. It’s critical to know how to read both so you know if you’ve racked up any unexpected expenses. Regularly monitoring your system helps you to detect any anomalies and save costly repairs or charges.
These are a few probable things to check if your most recent true-up statement was shockingly high:
Fees & Charges That Cannot Be Bypassed
To prevent any surprises, your solar contractor should include these expenses in their first feasibility research. However, it is not uncommon for these charges to catch homeowners by surprise when they are seen as a whole after a full year has gone.
Customers will be charged fees by utility companies to retain their connection to the electricity grid. These expenses will be billed to your standard PG&E billing account on a monthly basis. Your yearly true-up bill will include a summary of these monthly expenses.
Customers must pay non-bypassable costs per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in addition to some customer and meter fees, which range between 2 and 3 cents per kWh. These non-bypassable fees fund things like energy efficiency, low-income customer aid, and nuclear decommissioning.
Increased Electricity Consumption
It is typical for homeowners who have just installed solar panels to unwittingly raise their power use. It is critical to avoid the urge to alter one’s energy consumption habits after installing solar.
Utility providers require homeowners to choose a system size for their solar PV system that will offset no more than the preceding 12-months of power use. If a household uses their power more liberally after going solar, they may be shocked by a higher-than-expected true-up charge.
If your true-up bill is excessively high, there are methods to minimize it, most notably by modifying your current solar system. Here are two of the better solution:
Solution 1: Increase the number of solar panels on your current system.
If your true-up bill is higher than you’ve anticipated, you are not producing enough power to optimize your savings. Consider working with a solar energy sales expert to determine how much extra solar your home may require to balance the remaining usage now supplied by the utility grid.
Solution 2: Add more Batteries to your Solar PV System
Solar panels are an excellent method to generate electricity for your house and lower your carbon footprint on their own, but when paired with batteries, you build a system that can offer power when it is most beneficial, day or night.
This combination results in a functioning, dynamic system that significantly increases energy security by supplying electricity during grid disruptions.
This procedure is pretty straightforward:
The battery stores the extra electricity generated by your panels. After the sun sets, the stored energy powers your home. The system settings may be set to prioritize energy supply during night-time peak hours when power is at its most expensive, allowing households to avoid excessive time-of-use rates.
PG&E charges substantially higher prices during peak hours (defined as 4 pm-9 pm this year). When solar panels are paired with an Energy Storage System, your home may draw from its stored energy during peak hours instead of paying exorbitant Time-of-Use rates.
It is important to spend a few minutes learning the difference between a regular bill and the statement you will receive if you go solar, both monthly and annually. If you still have doubts about your account, don’t hesitate to contact us for further information so that you’ll be confident in all the documentation you get from the utility company.