Net billing tariff FAQs

When going solar now in California, you’ll be put on a new rate plan called the “Solar Billing Plan” and will see this reflected on your utility bill along with any charges and credits.


The Solar Billing Plan has a new payment and compensation structure, which reduces the value of installing only solar panels across California. To create the most value, homeowners must install battery storage.


The Solar Billing Plan is part of the new interconnection paradigm in California called the Net Billing Tariff (NBT), also known as NEM 3.0, which was enacted on April 15, 2023 by the California Public Utilities Commission.

The net billing tariff decision not only changes how export credits are valued but also requires customers to enroll in highly differentiated electrification or Time-of-Use (TOU) rates with lower off-peak prices and higher on-peak prices than other TOU rates. The wider gap aims to discourage power use during the most demanding times for the electricity grid, shifting electrical consumption to times when there is not a stress on the grid. This shift in off-peak and on-peak pricing encourages homeowners to self-consume as much of their own energy as possible to get the best value from their solar panels. In California, it is in the customer's best interest to have a storage device with their system - Shift (non-backup battery) or a Powerwall (backup battery).

Other changes include the export compensation adder (bonus credit), nine-year legacy period, and monthly bill payment, which you can learn more about by visiting the CPUC's website.

Homeowners can choose not to install a battery with their system on the Solar Billing Plan, but overall savings drastically decrease without one. Consider purchasing a backup battery, such as Tesla’s Powerwall, or a non-backup battery, such as Sunrun’s Shift, to help regulate power usage and save money during peak hours.

No. If you already have solar installed under NEM 1.0 or NEM 2.0, you will remain under your existing policy and billing plan for up to 20 years. However, you may void your legacy Net Metering Agreement if you add certain new equipment or sign a new agreement with the utility.


The earliest date the Solar Billing Plan will take effect on utility bills is December 2023, but the actual date will vary depending on your utility and system Permission to Operate (PTO) date:

  • If you are a SCE customer who received Permission to Operate (PTO) between 4/15/23 and 12/15/23, you will remain on NEM2 billing until the one year anniversary of your PTO date.  If you receive Permission to Operate (PTO) after 12/15/23, net billing goes live immediately.

  • If you are an SDG&E customer who received Permission to Operate (PTO) between 4/15/23 and 12/15/23, you were likely transitioned from NEM 2.0 to the Solar Billing Plan under NEM 3.0 during your December billing cycle (as early as 12/1/2023 and as late as 12/31/2023)

  • If you are a PG&E customer who received Permission to Operate (PTO) between 4/15/23 and 4/15/24, you will remain on NEM2 billing until the one year anniversary of your PTO date.  If you receive Permission to Operate (PTO) after 4/15/24, net billing goes live immediately.


Under NEM 2.0 billing, your energy exports will be compensated at roughly the same rate as you pay for your imports.

California IOUs are moving from annual true-up bills to monthly true-up. This means you will pay for excess energy consumption in the month it occurs, rather than waiting for a yearly bill. You should expect monthly bills reflecting your energy usage.

Further questions

Any extra solar generation that isn’t consumed or stored is sent to the grid as an energy export credit. There are three types of energy export credits:

  • Generation export credits - Generation export credits are calculated based on how much energy you export to the grid and the value of the energy at that time of day. These credits can only offset generation charges on the utility bill.

2024 rates in detail, broken out by utility:

  • Delivery export credits - Delivery export credits are calculated based on how much energy you export to the grid, as well as the delivery export value of the energy at that time of day. These energy export credits can only offset delivery import charges on the utility bill.

2024 rates in detail, broken out by utility:

  • ACC Plus Adder (appears as Bonus export credit on bill) - This credit is an adder to the export credits for California customers who go solar within the first five years of NEM 3.0 and is only available with PG&E and SCE. The adder amount is fixed for 9 years at the adder value in the year that you received it. These credits can offset generation charges, delivery charges, or non-bypassable charges. The credit amounts for 2024 are as follows:

  • Fixed charge(s)

    • PG&E: Standard - $0.022 | CARE - $0.090

    • SCE: Standard - $0.040 | CARE - $0.093

With the Solar Billing Plan, you should always expect to have a leftover utility bill.  There are two components of the bill that remain regardless of your energy profile:

  • Fixed charge(s) - 

    • SCE - Daily base charge: $0.52 per day

    • SDG&E - Base service fee: $16 per month

    • PG&E - Fixed charge: ($15/month)

  • Non-bypassable charges - These charges are required and not eligible to be offset by Delivery export credits or Generation export credits. Examples of non-bypassable charges include Nuclear Decommissioning charges, Wildfire Fund charges, Public Purpose Programs charges, and Competition Transition charges. These can be reduced through higher self-consumption, but typically don’t go away entirely.  

Set your Powerwall operational mode to Time-Based Control.  Time-Based Control uses your rate plan to optimize how your Powerwall charges and discharges. This helps maximize the value of energy generation and lower the cost of energy consumption, ensuring you have the lowest possible leftover bill. Learn more about Configuring Powerwall for the Solar Billing Plan.