Resources for Customers

Resources for Customers

Understanding Your Bill & Net Energy Metering

Now that your new solar system has been interconnected to the grid you are likely a Net Energy Metering (NEM) or Net Billing Tariff (NBT) customer. PG&E uses NEM and NBT to track your electricity usage and any unused production that is exported to the grid. You earn credits for each kWh your system exports to the grid, which can later be used to offset some of the energy you pull from the grid. Over a 12-month billing period these charges and/or credits will continue to accumulate, which will result in a Cumulative Energy Charge or Energy Credit.

You will receive a bill from PG&E monthly that gives you an idea of your energy balance, and you will owe a nominal fee for being connected to the grid. At the end of the 12-month billing period you will receive a true-up bill in which you will either pay what you owe, or it will be a statement of your excess credit. Each energy provider (PG&E, Sonoma Clean Power, or Marin Clean Energy) has a different way of dealing with extra credits.


Monitoring Your System

Customers are responsible for monitoring the function of their own solar and battery systems. For modern systems, each manufacturer has its own hardware and software for this purpose. You will be asked to download an app or log in to a website as part of your orientation.

Older systems might not have a web based monitoring system, so it is the customer’s responsibility to monitor their energy bills for any drastic increases in electrical charges that might suggest that the PV isn’t working. Customers should also visually inspect their inverters on a regular basis and ensure that the solar breaker remains in the “on” position.

Contact our office ASAP if you think something seems wrong.


How to Clean Your Solar Panels

We recommend cleaning your solar panels twice per year. In the morning or evening hours, when the array is not in full sun and the panel surfaces are cool, use a hose and water to rinse off dust. Occasionally, you will need to give the panels a good scrub. It is best to use a soft bristled brush or soft mop. Do not use any material that will scratch the panel surface. If you decide to use a cleanser, use a mild, non-toxic product. Do not use abrasive cleansers, which may scratch the panel surface.

Remember to clean your panels carefully, as scratched or damaged panels are NOT covered under warranty.


Making a Difference

According to Project Drawdown, distributed rooftop solar makes a critical difference in our goal of carbon neutrality. Learn more at