Southern California Edison's utilizes the Net Energy Metering (NEM for short) model for customers who install solar at their homes. Southern California Edison's NEM program provides homeowners with credit for the excess solar energy they send into the SCE grid. When the solar system is not producing enough electricity to cover the home's electrical usage, the credits can be used to cover the SCE rates.
Like the two other California investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDGE)) SCE is now under NEM 2.0. SCE customers under NEM 2.0, like those NEM 1.0, can save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the solar system when sized correctly.
Where does SCE offer net metering?
Southern California Edison offers Net Metering to all of its customers. SCE covers the following locations:
Los Angeles County
San Bernardino County
Santa Barbara County
What are Southern California Edison's rates and prices for net metering?
Like many other utilities, Southern California Edison has different factors determining the rates an individual will pay. Even if the rates vary somewhat, the NEM structure is the same for all homeowners: for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) that a customer sends to the grid, they will receive a bill credit equal to the value of that kWh.
If you are looking for the most up to date breakdown of the NEM rates, the SCE website has information for the current residential customers.
SCE NEM 2.0 details are as follows:
Credits for exported electricity- Full retail rate
Rate structure- All-New 2.0 customers are on Time of Use rate structures
Non-bypassable charges (NBCs)- Customer pays NBCs on all electricity that they utilize during a billing period
System sizing- System cannot be sized greater than a homes electrical needs, but a system can be as large as needed
Interconnection fee- A onetime payment of $75 for residential customers
How does SCE net metering program compare to others in California?
Like the other two investor-owned utilities in California Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas and Electric, SCE's net metering program is structured based on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) guidelines. Because of the similarities in structure, the NEM program's economics are very similar across all three utilities.
Other utilities in California are still under NEM policies that do not require a customer to transition over to Time-of-use (TOU) rates (Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, for example). While most California utilizes are on NEM 1.0 or 2.0, some smaller utilities do not offer Net Energy Metering programs.
Solar customers in SCE do see some of the highest rates of saving in California by switching to solar. Transitioning over to solar is so beneficial because SCE because electricity rates are amongst the highest in the nation. The TOU requirements of NEM 2.0 do mean that system design is especially important to ensure maximum production during the times of day when the solar credits are highest.
If a solar energy system produces extra electricity, what will SCE do with the net metering bill credits?
Because of the differing sun exposure from month to month (usually more sun exposure during the summer months and less during the winter), a solar energy system will produce different amounts of electricity every month. Sometimes this will mean that a solar system has produced an excess of electricity in a month, and in others, it will produce less.
During the months when a system produces extra energy, SCE will provide a homeowner with credits that can be used in future months. If a PV system is sized correctly, it should produce enough to have no extra or very few extra credits at the end of twelve months.
If a solar system has produced more electricity at the end of twelve months than a home has utilized, the home will be provided with credit for the extra kilowatt-hours at the wholesale compensation price.
SCE calculates the wholesale compensation price by taking the average per-kilowatt hour value for each month based on the average market price for electricity. At the end of twelve months, you will receive a bill credit for any extra electricity at the average rate that SCE has calculated for that month.
Does Southern California Edison offer solar incentives?
Some solar companies claim that SCE has "special' solar incentives; this is not true. It is important to note that SCE does not have solar incentives for every homeowner. Additional incentives may be available depending on the financial needs of homeowners.
SCE solar interconnection fee and process
Before a solar system is activated, an interconnection request needs to be submitted to SCE. The interconnection requests ensure that SCE knows about the solar at home and safely connects to the utility grid. The interconnection request fee in SCE under NEM 2.0 is $75.
If you are interested in learning more about NEM 2.0 in SCE and how you can save money by switching to solar, set up a free consultation today with Alchemy Solar.