Premium Benefits for MCE Solar Customers

We’re dedicated to encouraging customers to generate their own clean energy. Customers with solar power at their home or business can take advantage of MCE’s net energy metering (NEM) program, which is one of the most generous programs of its kind in California.

Premium Rates

We pay premium rates for excess electricity, crediting customers an extra $0.01/kWh.

Credits Roll Over

Excess credits roll over month after month and never zero out.

Cash Out Annually

Excess credits over $100 can be cashed out annually in April for their full retail value.

No Annual True-up

MCE bills NEM customers monthly, so you don’t end up with a year’s worth of charges at your true-up.

How MCE’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) Program Works

A special meter tracks the difference between the amount of electricity your solar panels produce and the amount of electricity you use during each billing cycle. When your panels produce more electricity than you use, you receive a credit on your bill. MCE pays premium rates for excess electricity – crediting customers an extra $0.01/kWh –and rolls over excess credits every month. If you earn credits of $100 or more, you’ll have an option to “cash out” each April.

Eligibility

Any MCE customer who meets PG&E’s NEM program requirements is eligible for MCE’s NEM program. Generally, this includes customers with renewable electric generation systems (such as solar, wind, biogas, and fuel cell installations) that are less than 1,000 kW. The average residential installation is 5 kW, and the average commercial installation is 100-200 kW.

How to Enroll in MCE’s NEM Program

Current NEM Customers

If you’re already enrolled in PG&E’s NEM program and you switch to MCE, you will automatically be enrolled in MCE’s NEM program — no action is necessary. Both PG&E and MCE will perform a settlement of your account’s net charges and credits (known as a “true-up”) when your energy provider changes to MCE or back to PG&E. This settlement will result in a balance due for any usage charges owed to-date or a forfeiture of any excess credits on your account at that time.

New NEM Customers

MCE customers sign up for net energy metering through PG&E and will be automatically served by MCE’s NEM program. PG&E is required to complete the NEM interconnection within 30 working days of receiving an application. 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 through installing a system and submitting a NEM application.

Final permission to operate your solar system is required by PG&E, whether or not you are an MCE customer. PG&E will review your completed application and a diagram of your system. Upon a successful evaluation, PG&E will install your bi-directional meter. After receiving your “Permission to Operate” letter, you can operate your solar system.

NEM Bill Sample

As an MCE net energy metering customer, you will see an NEM line item on the MCE Electric Generation Charges page of your monthly energy bill.

Our billing page provides additional details about the non-NEM charges on your energy statement.

Net Energy Metering FAQ

PG&E performs a true-up when your 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. 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 in 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.

A customer transitioning to service with MCE will remain grandfathered on the original NEM design, if they were on it before switching to MCE. PG&E will treat an MCE customer no differently than customers receiving all of their electric services from PG&E. The MCE customer on NEM will get their generation credits from MCE rather than PG&E, but their eligibility for grandfathering is unchanged by a move to or from MCE.

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).

Feed-in tariffs are flat-rate payments per kilowatt-hour for renewable energy generation. The long-term contracts provided by feed-in tariffs allow small producers of renewable energy the security of a certain return on investment without the volatility of wholesale and retail market pricing. MCE offers a feed-in tariff program in support of renewable energy projects built within its service area.

Net energy metering (NEM) also allows small producers of renewable energy to offset their energy use with their energy production. Under a NEM program, the customer is typically paid for their net energy production and use at the same rate which they are charged for consuming electricity (i.e., full retail rate). MCE NEM customers, however, have the advantage of being paid at the full retail rate of MCE’s Light Green service + $0.01.

Net energy metering (NEM) customers who choose to enroll in Local Sol are not eligible for the annual cash out process. NEM customers on Local Sol will be credited at the same rate that they pay for Local Sol service ($0.142/kWh). These credits will be applied to your bill following the standard NEM procedure and will offset future MCE usage charges. However, these credits are not eligible for MCE’s annual NEM cash out and will instead roll over to the following year and be applied to any future MCE usage charges.

Deep Green and Light Green customers are eligible for the annual NEM cash out. If you choose to discontinue Local Sol service and return to Deep Green or Light Green service, you will accrue NEM credits that are eligible for cash out. Any credits accrued during your time as a Local Sol customer will remain ineligible for cash out.

If you have questions about how this will impact you, please contact us at info@mcecleanenergy.org.

Yes! During MCE’s annual NEM cash out in the spring, customers can choose to transfer their excess solar credits to MCE’s low-income solar rebate program to help provide more rebates and access to solar for communities that otherwise would not have the option. If you love feeding local clean energy into the grid and want to help more of our communities do the same, consider transferring your excess credits by emailing CustomerService@mceCleanEnergy.org or calling 1 (888) 632-3674.