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Feed Tariff’s – The next step in California’s journey is in the mail …

We received a nice surprise in the mail this week. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has sent a letter to all Net Energy Metering (NEM) customers. This letter provides clarity on the path California is taking with the passage of Assembly Bill 920 – Huffman – Solar and Wind Generation. Before AB 920, residential power production can feed energy into the grid, get credits for that energy, but received nothing if more power went into the grid that was pulled out of the grid.

This model was a counter incentive to more solar installations in the the state. Home owner’s were not motivated to invest in site generated power (solar and wind) nor continue with maximized efficiencies to put more power into the grid. AB 920 changed this model. 2010/2011 are the transition years where the home owner gets paid at the year end “true-up” period (true-up allows for the averaging of the year’s power productions – compensating for day light hours and other seasonal impact).  Now a home owner will get paid for the excess power sent into the grid.  Feed-in tariffs are now real in California.

For those who are interested, I’ve transcribed the letter.

January 29, 2010

Subject: Assembly Bill 920 and Your New PG&E Net Energy Metering (NEM) Options

Dear Laina Greene:

PG&E would like to let you know about a Net Energy Metering (NEM) program enhancement that goes into effect this year. Late in 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger approved a new program feature (Assembly Bill 920 – Huffman – Solar and Wind Generation) that provides a new compensation option to your basic NEM program.

If you provide more energy to PG&E’s electric system (PG&E grid) than you receive on a 12 month basis, you will be identified as a “net generator.” As a result, you will have the ability to receive a once-per-year compensation for the excess electricity you supply to the PG&E grid. Starting in 2011, this compensation will be calculated at the time of your normally scheduled, annual true-up.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) still has to determine the details before the new enhancements to the NEM program are fully implemented. In the meantime, you will automatically be enrolled in the new program and the 12-month period that determines your eligibility for compensation will start on your regular 2010 true-up date. For example:

  1. If you qualify as a net generator at the end of your 12 month true-up period starting in 2010 (and ending in 2011), you will qualify or compensation for your net excess electricity. PG&E will automatically notify you at that tie of your compensation options.
  2. If you do not qualify as a net generator at the end of your 12 month true-up period, you will not be eligible for compensation for that period and there will be no change from the current NEM program. If you should become a net generator in a subsequent 12-month true-up, PG&E will then notify you of your compensation choices.

If you would like to move up the 2010 start date of your 12 month true-up period, you may elect to do so by providing the information requested below and submitting it to PG&E at

NEM Compensation Program

PC Box 770000

MC B12CSan Francisco, CA 94177

If you do not choose to move up your upcoming 2010 true-up date, PG&E will perform a true-up of your account once we receive your request. However, your surplus electricity, if you have any associated with the previous true-up period, will be zeroed out.

In summary, you do not need to take any action to be eligible for the new program, and PG&E will automatically notify you of your compensation options if you qualify as a net generator. You may want to periodically check for updates on the new features at our solar energy website (, or feel free to call our Solar Customer Service Center at 1-877-743-4112.

We appreciate your ongoing business and will continue to inform you of any significant updates or changes to the NEM program as they occur.


Felecia K Lokey

Senior Director

Customer Engagement

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

This article was posted on Sunday, February 7th, 2010 at 7:56 pm You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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