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Understanding PGE/SVCE electricity bills/TrueUP

fleece

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
3
0
Santa Clara County, CA
I am on NEM2 and my bill is 9 pages. Page 1 is the summary including gas charges. Pages 3,4,5 & 6 are various NEM charges and PG&E detail. Page 7 is Sonoma Clean Power Electric Generation Charges and pages 8 & 9 are gas charges.

My electric bill ends at page 6. But it does show PCIA and Generation Credit so I’m confident I’m on SVCE. That is my very first NEM bill, so I’ll see if my next bill looks more like the ones posted here.

This has been a very helpful thread. Thanks @miimura as well.
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,024
5,861
Merced, CA
@getakey if I’m not mistaken you have no choice but to have PG&E as your generation provider if you pull from the grid? We do get charged by PG&E for distribution (NEM2PS rate for Net Energy Metering Paired Storage, ours was 7.88 for this month). Our bill factors in all the same add on charges a regular PG&E customer would have plus some Vintage Power Charge Indifference Adjustment charge for switching over to SVCE (4.73 this month — adjusted cost to PG&E for pulling us out of the pool of paying customers for already PG&E contracted generation sources if I understand this correctly). Not sure if there’s anything else.

@miimura you said you had a small system. What’s your solar? Also do you have storage to help extend your solar?

I guess I didn’t post it above but we have an 8.16kW solar with 3PWs so when people look at our bill you can factor that in.

What exactly was this $7.88 for and is it called out in the B&W bill? According to PG&Es own hourly data for my last billing period indexed through the EV2-A rate, I should have received $160 in export credit but the B&W bill only shows $145 in credit. Is there some additional NEM charge other than the actual energy rate (not including NBCs of course) that I incur by having powerwalls?

I found this on one of PG&E's NEMPS brochures:

"With NEMPS, since a storage device is present, only the exports that are attributed to renewable portion of the system (e.g. the solar portion) receive NEM credit."

But not sure what it means. EDIT: I assume this means I can't receive more credit in a single day for what they think my system could have generated. So I guess I'd never get hit by that. It's probably a safety mechanism for them to prevent dumping stored power to the grid at peak times to game the system.
 
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Redhill_qik

Member
Aug 16, 2020
254
160
South SF Bay, California
What exactly was this $7.88 for and is it called out in the B&W bill? According to PG&Es own hourly data for my last billing period indexed through the EV2-A rate, I should have received $160 in export credit but the B&W bill only shows $145 in credit. Is there some additional NEM charge other than the actual energy rate (not including NBCs of course) that I incur by having powerwalls?

I found this on one of PG&E's NEMPS brochures:

"With NEMPS, since a storage device is present, only the exports that are attributed to renewable portion of the system (e.g. the solar portion) receive NEM credit."

But not sure what it means. EDIT: I assume this means I can't receive more credit in a single day for what they think my system could have generated. So I guess I'd never get hit by that. It's probably a safety mechanism for them to prevent dumping stored power to the grid at peak times to game the system.
Right, there is a table on page of 3 of the B&W bill called "PAIRED STORAGE: MAXIMUM EXPORT ESTIMATION"
1621037686676.png


As you can see from this last month I was really close to getting cutoff by 60 kWh. The differences between my exports and the estimated was larger in prior months. I am really surprised that I am this close as I have a sub-optimal panel locations with probably 6 of 24 panels pointing northeast and I do actually use electricity my home, not nearly as much as @holeydonut or @h2ofun, but not zero either. :cool:
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,024
5,861
Merced, CA
Right, there is a table on page of 3 of the B&W bill called "PAIRED STORAGE: MAXIMUM EXPORT ESTIMATION"
View attachment 662405

As you can see from this last month I was really close to getting cutoff by 60 kWh. The differences between my exports and the estimated was larger in prior months. I am really surprised that I am this close as I have a sub-optimal panel locations with probably 6 of 24 panels pointing northeast and I do actually use electricity my home, not nearly as much as @holeydonut or @h2ofun, but not zero either. :cool:

That is surprising. My panel locations are optimal and I'm making more then either Tesla or pvatts estimated I would by about 15%.

Capture.PNG


And as you can see I barely went more than half. I'm exporting all peak production and a few hours of part and off peak because my 3 powerwalls are 100% full by about 1 pm every day.

As the heat approaches and we start using AC every day, my powerwalls will be far more depleted by midnight each night and I'll only export exactly peak production and no more.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,464
423
auburn, ca
Right, there is a table on page of 3 of the B&W bill called "PAIRED STORAGE: MAXIMUM EXPORT ESTIMATION"
View attachment 662405

As you can see from this last month I was really close to getting cutoff by 60 kWh. The differences between my exports and the estimated was larger in prior months. I am really surprised that I am this close as I have a sub-optimal panel locations with probably 6 of 24 panels pointing northeast and I do actually use electricity my home, not nearly as much as @holeydonut or @h2ofun, but not zero either. :cool:
So, why is PGE limiting eligible generation for credit for folks? I hope I am not in for a surprise?
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,024
5,861
Merced, CA
I guess a better question is why is PG&E limiting my estimation to 1035 for April? I produced a total of 1552 in April with like 4 cloudy days otherwise it would have been closer to 1700 kwh. If I was away on a long vacation and not using power in the house, I'd be losing probably 300 kWH a month.
 

Redhill_qik

Member
Aug 16, 2020
254
160
South SF Bay, California
So, why is PGE limiting eligible generation for credit for folks? I hope I am not in for a surprise?
It is probably a curb against rate arbitrage with ESS, but since our PWs are software limited in PG&E's territory from exporting it isn't possible. With your home load usage I would be extremely surprised if you ever have a problem.

I have a 8.16 kW array that according to PVwatts would max out at only 6.0kW in June due to the panel orientations. I should be running well under an estimate with all 8.16 kW pointing due south with the house consumption while still exporting providing even more headroom. It makes me wonder if PG&E is subtracting an expected house load from their PV generation estimate. If they used the baseline of 10.5 kWh/day that would subtract 315 kWh/month, but if they are playing games then who knows.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,464
423
auburn, ca
I guess a better question is why is PG&E limiting my estimation to 1035 for April? I produced a total of 1552 in April with like 4 cloudy days otherwise it would have been closer to 1700 kwh. If I was away on a long vacation and not using power in the house, I'd be losing probably 300 kWH a month.
Yes, so what is going on?
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,464
423
auburn, ca
It is probably a curb against rate arbitrage with ESS, but since our PWs are software limited in PG&E's territory from exporting it isn't possible. With your home load usage I would be extremely surprised if you ever have a problem.

I have a 8.16 kW array that according to PVwatts would max out at only 6.0kW in June due to the panel orientations. I should be running well under an estimate with all 8.16 kW pointing due south with the house consumption while still exporting providing even more headroom. It makes me wonder if PG&E is subtracting an expected house load from their PV generation estimate. If they used the baseline of 10.5 kWh/day that would subtract 315 kWh/month, but if they are playing games then who knows.
Why is, would any of this be happening? When I turned my solar stuff in, it gave the estimated export amount. I assume as long as I am under, I would be fine.
But, do the batteries change this? It was the same form we submitted when we did the batteries.
 

Redhill_qik

Member
Aug 16, 2020
254
160
South SF Bay, California
Ok, I found a PG&E NEM Paired Storage Billing FAQ document. It says that if you don't have NGOM meter installed then they use an alternative estimation methodology. This alternative method is the CSI EPBB Calculator.

I ran it through for my system with my zipcode, Hanwha Q Cells, Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G6+/SC 340, 24 panels, >6" average standoff (might be wrong), SolarEdge Technologies, SE7600H-US, 1 invertor, minimal shading, tilt of 20 degrees, azimuth 180 degrees (better than mine) and it gave me 1194 kWh for April vs the 1164 kWh that is on my PG&E bill. The annual amount is 12,653 kWh and Tesla estimated 11,584 kWh

1621041723493.png

So, now we know where the number estimate is coming from. I need to start using more electricity.
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,464
423
auburn, ca
Ok, I found a PG&E NEM Paired Storage Billing FAQ document. It says that if you don't have NGOM meter installed then they use an alternative estimation methodology. This alternative method is the CSI EPBB Calculator.

I ran it through for my system with my zipcode, Hanwha Q Cells, Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G6+/SC 340, 24 panels, >6" average standoff (might be wrong), SolarEdge Technologies, SE7600H-US, 1 invertor, minimal shading, tilt of 20 degrees, azimuth 180 degrees (better than mine) and it gave me 1194 kWh for April vs the 1164 kWh that is on my PG&E bill. The annual amount is 12,653 kWh and Tesla estimated 11,584 kWh

View attachment 662421
So, now we know where the number estimate is coming from. I need to start using more electricity.
i am still trying to understand why you are being limited. did you sign something? this then would limit the credits you can get for winter use?
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,024
5,861
Merced, CA
Ok, I found a PG&E NEM Paired Storage Billing FAQ document. It says that if you don't have NGOM meter installed then they use an alternative estimation methodology. This alternative method is the CSI EPBB Calculator.

I ran it through for my system with my zipcode, Hanwha Q Cells, Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G6+/SC 340, 24 panels, >6" average standoff (might be wrong), SolarEdge Technologies, SE7600H-US, 1 invertor, minimal shading, tilt of 20 degrees, azimuth 180 degrees (better than mine) and it gave me 1194 kWh for April vs the 1164 kWh that is on my PG&E bill. The annual amount is 12,653 kWh and Tesla estimated 11,584 kWh

View attachment 662421
So, now we know where the number estimate is coming from. I need to start using more electricity.

That calculator doesn't have my Q.PEAK DUO G6+ 345 watt panels. The highest producing Q cell panel on that calculator is a 265 watt panel. No wonder PG&E's estimate for my system production is so low.
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,464
423
auburn, ca
Ok, I found a PG&E NEM Paired Storage Billing FAQ document. It says that if you don't have NGOM meter installed then they use an alternative estimation methodology. This alternative method is the CSI EPBB Calculator.

I ran it through for my system with my zipcode, Hanwha Q Cells, Q.PEAK DUO BLK-G6+/SC 340, 24 panels, >6" average standoff (might be wrong), SolarEdge Technologies, SE7600H-US, 1 invertor, minimal shading, tilt of 20 degrees, azimuth 180 degrees (better than mine) and it gave me 1194 kWh for April vs the 1164 kWh that is on my PG&E bill. The annual amount is 12,653 kWh and Tesla estimated 11,584 kWh

View attachment 662421
So, now we know where the number estimate is coming from. I need to start using more electricity.
the top of faq makes no sense. batteries cannot export to the grid. 100% of what i send is solar. how can they even say this?
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,024
5,861
Merced, CA
That calculator doesn't have my Q.PEAK DUO G6+ 345 watt panels. The highest producing Q cell panel on that calculator is a 265 watt panel. No wonder PG&E's estimate for my system production is so low.

Never mind. Found them under Hanwha.

Capture.PNG


I'm still producing way more than this and even the CSI EPPB calculator is WAY more than what PG&E estimates.
 

Redhill_qik

Member
Aug 16, 2020
254
160
South SF Bay, California
That calculator doesn't have my Q.PEAK DUO G6+ 345 watt panels. The highest producing Q cell panel on that calculator is a 265 watt panel. No wonder PG&E's estimate for my system production is so low.
You need to select "Hanwha Q CELLS" as the manufacturer, I see the Q.PEAK DUO-G6+ 345 in the list. I'm very shocked that they have some many manufacturers and part numbers.

1621044130899.png
 

Redhill_qik

Member
Aug 16, 2020
254
160
South SF Bay, California
the top of faq makes no sense. batteries cannot export to the grid. 100% of what i send is solar. how can they even say this?
Because all of this was likely written for large scale generation sites. Why would a residential customer ever want to install expensive and large batteries in their home? That would be just crazy. And then solar gets affordable, battery technology advances rapidly to support EVs with higher power densities and volume that lowers the cost and now there are a lot of unexpected residential users being shoe horned into a system that never consider us.

Slide 6 says "Battery Storage energy exports do not get NEM credits for energy which was originally charged from the grid.". Our interconnect agreement forbids us from charging from the grid, well except for StormWatch mode?, and we are prohibited from discharging form the grid also by the interconnect agreement. So WTF is right.
 

Redhill_qik

Member
Aug 16, 2020
254
160
South SF Bay, California
Ok, this is nuts. I'm was taking another look through the NEMPS FAQ and noticed this note that said "to learn more go to Battery storage for residential customers ". And on that page is the following:

Potentially reduce your energy costs: If you are on a PG&E Time-of-Use rate or Home Charging rate, your battery can charge when electricity is cheaper and discharge for use in your home when electricity from the grid is more expensive.

Explore rates that could be beneficial for battery storage customers:
LEARN ABOUT THE HOME CHARGING (EV2A) RATE
LEARN ABOUT TIME-OF-USE RATES

So PG&E will allow ESS to charge at night on the EV2A rate plan? Well probably not as the link only mentions EV charging on that page it goes to, but that is some deceptive language.

In the FAQ at the bottom, in the "What are the benefits of pairing my home battery with solar?" it says.
On an everyday basis:
If you are on a Time-of Use-rate or Home Charging rate, your battery can charge when electricity is cheaper and discharge electricity for home use when electricity from PG&E’s grid is more expensive. When paired with solar, a battery can help you get the most bill savings under Net Energy Metering and optimize the carbon-reduction impacts from your solar system.

It appears that one part of PG&E thinks that ESS systems are allowed to charge from the grid at night at low(er) rates, hence the need to only allow NEM credits up to the PV generation, but then another part of PG&E forbids this from happening unless it is StormWatch?.....
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,515
890
East Bay NorCal
Ok, this is nuts. I'm was taking another look through the NEMPS FAQ and noticed this note that said "to learn more go to Battery storage for residential customers ". And on that page is the following:

Potentially reduce your energy costs: If you are on a PG&E Time-of-Use rate or Home Charging rate, your battery can charge when electricity is cheaper and discharge for use in your home when electricity from the grid is more expensive.

Explore rates that could be beneficial for battery storage customers:
LEARN ABOUT THE HOME CHARGING (EV2A) RATE
LEARN ABOUT TIME-OF-USE RATES

So PG&E will allow ESS to charge at night on the EV2A rate plan? Well probably not as the link only mentions EV charging on that page it goes to, but that is some deceptive language.

In the FAQ at the bottom, in the "What are the benefits of pairing my home battery with solar?" it says.
On an everyday basis:
If you are on a Time-of Use-rate or Home Charging rate, your battery can charge when electricity is cheaper and discharge electricity for home use when electricity from PG&E’s grid is more expensive. When paired with solar, a battery can help you get the most bill savings under Net Energy Metering and optimize the carbon-reduction impacts from your solar system.

It appears that one part of PG&E thinks that ESS systems are allowed to charge from the grid at night at low(er) rates, hence the need to only allow NEM credits up to the PV generation, but then another part of PG&E forbids this from happening unless it is StormWatch?.....


Yes, PG&E believes all ESS can be grid-charged and can grid-export with no restrictions. It doesn't matter if Tesla (and just about every residential ESS maker) prohibits ESS to do this when installed alongside solar.

From PG&E's standpoint, they view the restriction to be a simple software control that can easily be bypassed. So they basically adopt the perspective that all Tesla Powerwall owners on NEM2-MT or NEM2-PS will grid-charge at off peak time and export at peak time. What is ironic is that I don't think anyone here at TMC has figured out a reliable way to automate grid-charging during off peak and grid exporting during peak.

This "estimation" method in absence of an expensive a$$ NGOM meter makes me want to barf. It basically limits the NEM credits you are actually producing by sending real energy to the grid. Like, instead of looking at the reading from the normal meter in the MSP meter socket, they just guestimate your PV and home loads. Barf.

Based on Tesla data obtained for the days in my most recent EV2-A billing cycle, I...
  • Source: Import from Grid: 80 kWh
  • Source: PV: 1,106 kWh
  • Uses: In Home 787 kWh
  • Uses: Export to Grid 320 kWh
So ignoring TOU and NBC malarkey, I should get generation record of 1,106 kWh from PV, and have a NEM credit worth (320 - 80 kWh or 240 kWh).

But, PG&E is claiming I only generated 814 kWh... because this EPBB calculator is absolute rubbish where it uses PV Watts and not actual weather experience in 2021. I punched in my 23 LG panels and 23 Enphase IQ7+ ... and I get a Mar/Apr blended number that is pretty close to the "estimation" on my PG&E bill. At least PG&E sees the 240 kWh of NEM export,

That means come the end of the year, I won't get credit for 292 kWh of generation. So when I get to the end of the year and it's time to true up, I feel like I'm going to get smashed with "wholesale" credit on a ton of my generation instead of normal NEM credit.

How are you guys going to try and fix this? Put in a NGOM? Or do you think this will not actually be a big deal during true-up time?

Edit: No, I do not plan on ever grid-charging these Powerwalls then Exporting to the Grid to arbitrage rates. The only time I would ever grid-charge is during a Stormwatch.
 
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