Getting Credit for Energy You Generate

Offset the cost of the electricity you buy from PGE with energy you generate with solar, wind, hydro and other eligible renewable resources.

How Net Energy Metering works

Each billing period, the power you used from PGE is offset by the power you sent to PGE through your power generating system. You are only charged for the difference or “net” between these two amounts. PGE calls this program Net Metering.

Bidirectional meters measure both ways

A Net Metering customer’s bill is calculated using a bidirectional meter, which records power flowing in either direction. This type of meter measures how much electricity you use from PGE and how much of your excess electricity your system supplies to PGE.

Already have Net Metering? For instructions on reading your meter and other information, see our guide to bidirectional meters PGE or contact us at 503-464-8100 for help.

Get credit for energy you generate

If you generate more energy than you use during your monthly bill cycle, your bill will have no kilowatt-hour charges and you will receive kilowatt-hour credits that will be applied to your future electric bills. Unused credits in excess of your monthly usage will accumulate in your PGE account. Extra credits are shown on the third page of your bill as "excess generation" (example bill).

Refer to the Net Metering rate schedule PGE for complete details.

March true-up

This happens in the billing cycle that ends in March. If you would benefit by having your annual billing cycle end in another month, contact the Net Metering coordinator to request a switch. In this month, energy credits that haven’t been applied are donated to customers who are enrolled in low-income bill assistance programs, and your account resets for the following annual billing period.

How to get started with your Net Metering application

Although your solar contractor should manage this process and complete the paperwork for you, it’s a good idea for you to know what’s needed as well. PGE uses your Net Metering application to assess the potential effect of your project on the safety, reliability and quality of power delivered to neighboring customers, and to determine whether any upgrades or modifications to our system will be necessary. Most projects don’t require extensive system upgrades. Where upgrades are needed, state rules require us to charge the cost to the customer who’ll benefit from them. We’ll work with you to identify any upgrade costs so you can decide if you want to proceed.

First step: Wait for approval before installing your project.

Submit your application first, and then be sure to have approval before you start any work on your project, especially if you are applying for a project on a generation-limited line. Early consultation and waiting for approval will prevent delays and help you avoid potentially costly mistakes. Time is important, so we’ll review your application as quickly as possible. Depending on how complete your application is and how complex your project is, this may take as little as five business days or as long as 30.

Before beginning construction, complete an application for Net Metering in PowerClerk.

View the descriptions below to determine which application fits your project. For details on the three types of applications, see PGE's Net Metering rules from the Oregon Public Utility Commission.

  • Level 1 application is for inverter-based systems with a nameplate capacity of 25 kW or less. There is no application fee.

  • Level 2 application is for inverter-based systems with a nameplate capacity of 25 kW to 2 MW. The application fee is $50 plus $1 per kW of capacity.

  • Level 3 application is for non-inverter-based systems or systems not using lab-tested equipment. The application fee is $100 plus $2 per kW of capacity. Note: This application is also for systems where the Level 1 or Level 2 application review found that more extensive studies, upgrades or protection equipment will be necessary.

For an application to be considered complete, it must have all fields filled out and all application fees must be paid, if applicable. Applications will require you to provide details on the location, equipment data, and all contact information. Supporting documentation such as a single-line diagram, site plan, and device specification sheets will also need to be uploaded into your online application. The review period typically takes 15 to 30 business days.

Receive the results of PGE’s review via email. There are four possible results:

  • Application updates required. If the application is found to be incomplete, we will send you a list of information needed to complete the application. If you are working with a contractor who submitted the application for you, your contractor will receive the list. All required additional information should be provided within 10 business days.  

  • Approved

  • Asked to submit an application at a higher level which require additional studies.

  • Approved contingent upon modifications. If any upgrades to PGE’s equipment are required for your system to safely connect with ours, we will inform you of the estimated cost of the upgrade. You will be responsible for the cost of these upgrades. For this reason, we recommend that you wait to begin construction of your solar system until your application has been reviewed and approved.

Once your review is complete, we will send you a Net Metering agreement, for your electronic signature.

When your system is built and has passed the city or county electrical inspection, please upload your approved inspection document into your PowerClerk project. Proof of approved inspection results is required. You can get this report from your contractor or contact your local municipality to obtain your inspection results ().

After we receive the Net Metering Agreement and approved electric inspection in PowerClerk, our Meter Services team will contact you via email to schedule an installation of a bidirectional meter and final inspection.

Approved city and/or county inspection results can be obtained online at the State of Oregon Permitting System website or from your city or county website.

During our on-site inspection, you will need to operate your equipment. If you have questions about how that is done, please contact your solar installer. If your system passes our inspection, we will install a bidirectional meter. You will then receive a document with permission to operate your system. You can now benefit from the Net Metering program.

What else should I consider before getting solar?

As you go through this process, here’s a few more things to consider with your power generating project.

Bundle it up

Customers who have multiple billing meters at the same location may also qualify for meter aggregation. Aggregation allows for any remaining excess kilowatt-hour credits on the net meter at the end of the month to be applied to additional qualifying billing meters.

Battery storage + solar

By adding battery storage to your solar or wind, you make your home more resilient during an emergency or outage. Plus, if you join our new Smart Battery Pilot program, you’ll help add even more renewable energy to the grid.

Help your neighbors

Under Oregon Public Utility Commission’s Net Metering rules Oregon Public Utility Commission Net Metering Rules, credits that remain unused at the end of the annual billing cycle are transferred to customers enrolled in low-income assistance programs.

Did you move into a home with solar panels?

We need to make sure you’re getting credit for your solar - please email us or call us at 503-228-6322.

More Oregon Net Metering resources

We've gone over several details about our Net Metering program but below we've included some additional resources for your reference: