Solar Customers / Net Energy Metering (NEM)

VCE Proudly Supports our NEM customers by Offering More Benefits

Have solar panels on your home or business? Thinking about installing solar? Learn more about how Net Energy Metering (NEM) works with Valley Clean Energy.

How It Works:

When you have solar, your electric meter measures how much electricity your panels generate and compares that to how much electricity you use every month. If you generated more than you used, VCE credits you at full retail value – plus a penny/kWh bonus. These credits accrue every month and offset electricity you use in the future.

Valley Clean Energy’s NEM program is similar to PG&E’s in some ways. But it gives you much more. Check out this quick video to learn more about our program.

Are you a PG&E NEM (solar) customer?

If you are not yet a VCE customer, you will be enrolled in VCE and in VCE’s NEM program automatically after your PG&E true-up so that you don’t lose any credits. Your billing will be monthly or annual, whichever you are on with PG&E, and VCE’s cash-out (if applicable) will happen at the same time as your PG&E true-up. If you generated more electricity than you used over the year, VCE will pay you the wholesale rate (Net Surplus Compensation) paid by PG&E, plus a penny per kWh bonus at cash-out. If you want to stay with PG&E, you will need to opt out of VCE.

Getting solar and already a VCE customer?

You will automatically be enrolled in VCE’s NEM program as well. Your billing will be annual on the PG&E side of your bill, and monthly on the VCE side, unless you call us to request annual billing. VCE’s cash-out happens in February for monthly billing. At that time, if you have generated more kWh over the course of the year than you used, we pay you the wholesale rate (Net Surplus Compensation) paid by PG&E, plus a penny per kWh bonus.

VCE’s NEM Program PG&E’s NEM Program
Credits from excess monthly generation accrue at retail plus a penny/kWh bonus Credits from excess monthly generation accrue at retail
Annual surplus generation at cash-out is paid at the wholesale (Net Surplus Compensation) rate plus a penny per kWh bonus Annual surplus generation at true-up is paid at the wholesale (Net Surplus Compensation) rate
Billing is monthly or annual, and you may choose either Billing includes monthly minimum bill charge, with an annual true-up
45% renewable energy when you need to use power from the grid, or opt up to 100% renewable with UltraGreen 29% renewable energy when you need to use power from the grid
Cash-out is on your PG&E true-up date (if on annual billing) or in February (if on monthly billing) True-up occurs on the annual anniversary of your interconnection

Solar NEM Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to apply for VCE’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) Program?
No, you will be automatically enrolled in VCE’s NEM Program whether you install panels or already have panels, as long as you are a VCE customer. If you are currently a PG&E solar customer but you are in VCE territory, you will be enrolled in VCE and in VCE’s NEM program automatically after your next PG&E true-up unless you opt out to remain with PG&E.
Why do I still have to pay PG&E if I am enrolled in VCE’s NEM Program?
Charges from PG&E and from VCE are for different things. PG&E charges you for transmission and delivery of electricity, and VCE charges you for electric generation, or the creation, of the electricity. You are still charged for transmission and delivery even if you generate more than you use, because as a solar customer you are still connected to the grid and use its services. If you are a VCE NEM customer, you will still receive an annual PG&E true-up, but only for transmission and delivery.
What are some advantages of VCE’s NEM Program?
VCE gives you a bonus credit of a penny/kWh on your retail rate for excess monthly generation. This adds up quickly, and offsets the cost of your electricity usage when you need electricity from the grid. VCE also pays you more at cash-out (see below). Additionally, for those times when you need to use electricity from the grid like at night or when it’s not sunny, if you are a VCE customer, more of that electricity is coming from renewable sources like solar and wind.
How does VCE’s cash-out work?
Once a year, either at your PG&E true-up (if you’re being billed annually), or VCE’s cash-out in February (if you’re billed monthly), there is a calculation done on how many kWh you generated and used for the annual period. If you generated more than you used, VCE pays you the wholesale rate paid by PG&E, Net Surplus Compensation (NSC), plus a penny per kWh bonus! If you have less than $100 in wholesale credits, the credit balance simply rolls over on your bill to offset future usage. If you have over $100 in wholesale credits, we will write you a check and send it to your billing address, unless you choose to roll over your credits.
Why don’t I receive the retail rate for electricity at cash-out or true-up?
Whether you choose VCE or PG&E for electric generation services, both compensate annual surplus generation at the wholesale rate, or Net Surplus Compensation (NSC), but VCE adds a penny/kWh bonus because we think it’s important to incentivize local solar. NSC is typically between 2 and 4 cents/kWh and is calculated at the going rate for wholesale electricity. More information can be found by downloading the California Public Utilities Commission’s factsheet on NSC here.
If I have solar on my home, will I still be impacted by PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS)?
If PG&E shuts off power to your home or business during a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event, you would still be impacted by the PSPS event unless you also invested in battery storage for your system. Most battery storage systems will provide a few hours of backup power, depending on the size of the system.
Does VCE’s NEM program work the same whether I lease or own my panels?
Yes. Whatever agreement was made with your solar company remains the same with VCE’s NEM Program. Please see your solar contract or contact your solar company for more details.
Does VCE support solar systems with battery storage?
Yes. VCE mirrors PG&E’s rates for energy storage.
What will my bill look like if I am on VCE’s NEM Program?
Your bill will contain two sections: PG&E’s section for transmission and delivery, and VCE’s section for electric generation. As a VCE customer, you will still have all the billing information you received as a PG&E customer.
What if I want to stay with PG&E’s NEM Program?
You may opt out of VCE to remain with PG&E at any time. You may opt out online here or you may call us at 1 (855) 699-8232 from Monday-Friday 7am-7pm.