I am a Net Energy Metering customer with PG&E. If I become a MCE customer will I have to fill out any new forms to stay on Net Energy Metering?
No. If you are already enrolled in PG&E's Net Energy Metering program and you switch to MCE, your account will automatically be enrolled in MCE's Net Energy Metering program.
Does MCE offer a net energy metering program for qualified solar electric and other distributed generation systems?
Yes. In fact, MCE offers one of the most favorable Net Energy Metering (NEM) programs in California. Net metering allows a customer to turn their meter backwards and receive a credit at times when their solar system generates more power than is used on site, and is taken back at times when more power is used than the system produces. The credits and use are netted out either monthly or annually.
The California Public Utilities Commission requires PG&E to treat MCE generation customers the same as PG&E generation customers. That means that MCE provides generation credits and PG&E continues to charge for transmission, distribution and all other charges.
MCE customers in the Net Energy Metering programs are paid at comparable rates to PG&E, and receive additional credit for the electricity they generate.
Who is eligible to participate in MCE’s Net Energy Metering program?
Any MCE customer meeting the specifications for eligible systems within PG&E's NEM program is eligible. Generally, this means any renewable electric generation system of less than 1,000 kilowatts.
Can I apply for MCE's Net Energy Metering program if I am not in the service area?
MCE’s Net Energy Metering program is only available to customers within the MCE service area. Customers outside of the MCE service area can still apply for NEM through PG&E, but will not benefit from MCE’s rate tariff.
What types of energy generation are eligible for participation in NEM?
Any eligible renewable technology (as defined by PG&E's NEM tariff) is eligible. Generally, this includes solar, wind, biogas and fuel cell installations of 1,000 kilowatts or less. The average residential installation is 5 kilowatts and the average commercial installation is 100 – 200 kilowatts in size.
How do I enroll in MCE’s Net Energy Metering program?
Customers need only to sign-up for Net Energy Metering as normal through PG&E - any MCE customer will automatically be served by MCE's NEM program as well, no additional forms or correspondence is needed.
If you don’t currently have an installed electric generation system, we recommend you first contact a solar or other energy system installer or professional who can guide you in installing a system and submitting a NEM application. For information about local solar installers and professionals, we suggest visiting www.MarinSolar.org .
Final permission to operate your solar PV system and/or wind system is required by PG&E regardless of whether or not you are a MCE customer. PG&E will review your completed application, along with a single line diagram that is representative of your system. Upon a successful evaluation of your engineering review, PG&E will install your bi-directional meter. You may operate your PV system following receipt of a ‘Permission to Operate’ letter.
What are the differences between MCE's Net Energy Metering program and PG&E's?
The following table compares Net Energy Metering programs of MCE and PG&E.
|MCE NEM Program
||PG&E NEM PROGRAM
|All generation credited as Deep Green (retail rate + $0.01/kWh)
||All generation and usage credited at standard rates
|Monthly settlement of generation charges; PG&E delivery charges still settled annually
||Annual settlement of all charges
|Perpetual rollover of excess credits
||Excess credits are lost at annual true-up
|Annual cash out for credit balances over $100 at full retail rate
||Compensation based on net kWh of generation at below wholesale rate
|Program rules set by MEA Board at public meetings; public workshops are utilized to gather input and refine program elements
||Program rules set in standard regulatory process based on input from IOUs and CPUC
How long after I submit my application will it take for NEM to start?
PG&E is required to complete the NEM interconnection within 30 working days of receiving an application.
What is MCE doing to encourage installation of rooftop solar?
MCE offers some of the best rates and terms available for Net Energy Metering programs statewide. MEA credits customers at the standard rate for electricity usage, plus the Deep Green premium of $0.01 per kilowatt hour of net generation within each time-of-use period on your bill. In addition, MEA allows you to rollover your credits monthly, and provides an annual cash payout for leftover credits in excess of $100.
I was enrolled in PG&E’s NEM program, but now receive my electric supply from MCE. How will my credits be treated with my switch to MCE?
PG&E performs a true-up at the time your energy supply service is changed from PG&E to MCE. This process is required by PG&E any time a customer changes service providers. From the time you switch to MCE, your NEM billing will be completed as follows:
PG&E will continue to charge you for all non-generation services. "Minimum Bill Charges" and gas charges will be due on your monthly statements, and other non-generation charges (such as Delivery, Transmission, Public Purpose Programs, Conservation Incentive Adjustment, etc.) will be billed annually via PG&E's annual true-up process, as described in your monthly Net Metering Statement. MCE generation charges will also be settled within your monthly bill, rather than PG&E's annual true-up process. If credits for generation are earned, they will be noted on the bill as well. For further information about how MCE will administer credits and charges for the generation portion of your bill, please contact our customer service representatives at 1-888-632-3674. We’re here for you Monday through Friday, 7am to 7pm.
Can I still receive California Solar Initiative (CSI) incentives as an MCE customer?
Yes, all retail electric customers in MCE's service area who install a solar photovoltaic (PV) generator are eligible for California Solar Initiative (CSI) incentives. Customers must meet the CSI program guidelines (http://www.pge.com/csi) to be eligible.
Customers still apply for the CSI rebate through PG&E. In most situations, the solar contractor handles the application process on the customer’s behalf. To access an application for the CSI, please click here.
Is it possible to oversize a solar system in order to generate revenue in excess of my energy bill?
Yes, it is possible to oversize a solar system to generate excess revenue through MCE’s net metering program, as long as the primary purpose of the solar installation is to provide electricity for on-site use. However, California Solar Initiative rebates are only available for the part of the system that offsets current electricity usage.
Customers are however still required to interconnect with PG&E, which does not generally allow customers to interconnect systems which exceed 60% of on-site electric demand.
Are there any requirements for increasing energy efficiency in my home or business before installing solar and participating in NEM?
No, customers are not required to install energy efficiency improvements before installing solar or participating in the NEM program. However, we strongly encourage customers to explore increasing energy efficiency before installing solar, as it is typically the most cost-effective way to lower your energy bills. Additionally, taking steps to maximize energy efficiency before installing solar can allow you to reduce the scale of the system you are planning on installing. For more information on Energy Efficiency and rebates, please visit our energy efficiency page here.
What is a feed-in tariff and how does it relate to MCE’s Net Energy Metering program?
Feed-in tariffs are flat-rate payments per kilowatt-hour for electricity generated by a renewable resource under a long term contract. Feed-in tariffs allow small producers of renewable energy a certain return on investment without the volatility of wholesale and retail market pricing. Net energy metering also allows small producers of renewable energy to offset their use of energy with excess production from their renewable generators. Under a Net Energy Metering program, production of energy effectively rolls back the meter so that the customer is ultimately paid for the net of their production and use at a full retail generation rate, the same rate which they are charged for consumed electricity.
Feed-in tariffs and net metering are both methods by which a homeowner or other customer is compensated for the renewable energy fed back into the grid. The main differences between the two programs are the type of rate (flat vs. dependent on time of day of generation), number of meters required (two vs. one), and flexibility (long term contract vs. non-binding program enrollment).
MCE offers a feed-in tariff program in support of renewable energy projects built within Marin County or Richmond. Find out more here.